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Haaland, the internal candidate, promises ‘balance’ on energy, environment,

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Haaland, the internal candidate, promises 'balance' on energy, environment,

 

Oil and natural gas will continue to play a significant role in America for years to come, even as President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Interior Department promises that the Biden administration aims to protect public land and fix climate change.

Deb Haaland, a Congresswoman from New Mexico appointed to lead the Interior Department, said she is committed to “striking the right balance” as the agency oversees the production of resources and aims to preserve and secure the sprawling federal lands of the country.

In testimony prepared for her confirmation hearing Tuesday, Biden’s platform, including the possible creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, “demonstrates that America’s public lands can and should be engines for clean energy production” and “has the potential to spur job creation,” Haaland said. The remarks of Haaland are intended to refute criticism from some Republicans who have complained that their resistance to fracking on federal lands would cost thousands of West-wide jobs and hurt economies.

The first Native American to head a Cabinet department will be Haaland, 60. The Laguna Pueblo member and two-term congresswoman also draws on her history as a single mother and her ancestors’ teachings as a reminder that the U.S. will impact generations to come by taking action on climate change, the atmosphere and sacred places.

Native Americans see the appointment of Haaland as the best opportunity to switch from consultation on tribal issues to consensus and to place more land either directly or by stewardship agreements in the hands of tribal nations. There is broad oversight of tribal affairs and energy production by the Interior Department.

Haaland said in her prepared testimony, “The historical nature of my confirmation is not lost on me, but I will say that it is not about me.” Instead, I hope that this nomination will encourage Americans to move forward together as one country and build opportunities for us all.

As a Pueblo woman’s daughter, Haaland says she learned to appreciate hard work early. Her mother is a veteran of the Navy and worked for the Bureau of Indian Education, an agency of the Interior Department, for a quarter-century. Her father, who served in Vietnam, was a Marine. He received the Silver Star and is buried at the National Cemetery of Arlington.

“As a military family, when I was a kid, we moved every couple of years, but no matter where we lived, my dad taught me and my siblings to enjoy nature, whether on a mountain trail or walking along the beach,” Haaland said.

In Mesita, a Laguna Pueblo village, the future congresswoman spent summers with her grandparents. “It was with my grandfather in the cornfields where I learned the importance of water and protecting our resources and where I gained profound respect for the Earth,” she said.

Haaland vowed with honour and dignity to lead the Interior Department and said she would be “a fierce advocate for our public land.”

She vowed to listen to and work on both sides of the aisle with members of Congress and ensure that the decisions of the Interior Department are based on science. She also promised to “honour tribal nations’ sovereignty and recognise their part in the storey of America.”

She said she fully recognises the role that the Interior Department must play in Biden’s “build back better” infrastructure and clean energy strategy and said she would strive to protect future generations of natural resources “so that we can continue working, living, hunting, fishing, and praying among them.”

The nomination of Haaland has stirred strong opposition from some Republicans who claim that their “radical ideas” do not fit in, particularly in the West, with a rural way of life. They quote her support for the recent ban on oil and gas exploration on federal lands by the Green New Deal and Biden, which does not extend to tribal lands, and her opposition to fracking and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said Haaland would have to persuade him that she was able to split as a legislator from what he called her “extreme views,” including opposition to the oil industry and the lifting of grizzly bear federal protections.

Her album speaks for itself. She is a die-hard, far-left ideologue,’ said Daines in an interview.

The portrayal of Haaland as’ progressive’ was called a loaded reference to her tribal status by some Native American advocates.

For certain people who see someone who is an Indigenous woman possibly being in a position of influence, that kind of language is kind of a dog whistle,” said Ta’jin Perez with the Western Native Voice group.” “Folks are scared of change to some extent.”

The notion of racial overtones was called outrageous by Daines in his remarks.

He is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which, at a hearing on Tuesday, will discuss Haaland’s nomination. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the chairman of the commission, has not said how he will vote on Haaland’s nomination, which is widely backed by Democrats. Manchin, a moderate, said he was preparing to oppose Biden’s selection as budget director, Neera Tanden, a significant flaw that could drop her appointment to the evenly split Senate.

In promoting Haaland, national civil rights groups have joined forces with tribal leaders and conservation groups. The NAACP, UnidosUS and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s joint statement hailed her nomination as “historic” and called Haaland “a proven advocate of civil rights/racial justice.”

A letter signed by nearly 500 national and regional organisations representing Native Americans, environmental justice organisations and outdoor companies called Haaland “a proven leader and the right individual to lead the charge against the existential threats of our time: addressing the climate, biodiversity, extinction and COVID-19 crises and inequities of racial justice on our federal public lands and water.”

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The Festival Latino of the Berkshires will celebrate its 25 anniversary

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The Festival Latino of the Berkshires will celebrate its 25 anniversary

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA (NEWS10) – The Festival Latino of the Berkshires will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on Saturday, September 25, from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., rain or shine, at the Town Hall Green Park and Saint James Place on Main Street.

The Berkshires Hispanic community continues to grow and thrive in the area, making invaluable contributions. The event takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month, which is one of Berkshire’s most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year.

The festival provides a sense of pride, inspiration, and education to immigrants and their children, which engages the joy of the Latin arts to students and adults alike.

Kicking off at 12:00 p.m. will be a variety of Latin American cuisine vendors with local Mexican singer Laura Cabrera, and D.J. Bernardino will provide the best Latin music hits for exploring the foods, social services, artists, artisans, and activities present at the festival.

The Latino Festival is free of charge, open to the public, and alcohol-free, committed to maintaining public health by following all Covid-19 safety guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

For further information, visit the festival Latino website or Facebook page.

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Aides of former Gov. Cuomo on hook for new legal bills

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Aides of former Gov. Cuomo on hook for new legal bills

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state has stopped paying legal bills for state employees who worked for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he faced ongoing investigations on the state and federal level. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s spokesperson Haley Viccaro said Wednesday that the state stopped paying for those aides’ legal bills after September 2.

Cuomo and his former aides face an ongoing probe by the state attorney general into Cuomo’s use of state employees to help with a book he wrote about his leadership during the pandemic and scrutiny from federal prosecutors who are investigating his administration’s handling of nursing home death data. Cuomo himself is also facing a state ethics commission inquiry.

The Hochul administration is now deciding whether there is a legal basis for the state to pay bills for legal services on or before September 2. Viccaro did not specify how many staffers had legal bills paid for by the state. She also didn’t say whether the state is considering requiring Cuomo aides to reimburse the state for past legal fees.

The state has agreed to pay a maximum of $9.5 million in bills for lawyers representing Cuomo and his administration over sexual harassment allegations and other matters as well as for lawyers investigating the former governor and his administration, according to the Associated Press review of available contracts.

That figure includes up to $5 million for lawyers who have represented Cuomo’s office. It doesn’t include the legal fees of Cuomo’s private attorney, Rita Glavin, whose bills are being paid by his campaign committee. It’s also unknown how much money has been paid to Paul Fishman, whose Washington, D.C.-based firm Arnold & Porter said it was representing Cuomo aides.

Cuomo resigned from office following an investigation overseen by Attorney General Letitia James that concluded he sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo—who denies touching anyone inappropriately or intending to make suggestive comments—accused the women of exaggerating or misinterpreting his behavior.

A former aide of Cuomo alleged he groped her, according to a criminal complaint that the Albany County district attorney and sheriff are investigating. At least one woman, Lindsey Boylan, has said she intends to sue the ex-governor “and his co-conspirators” over their conduct. The investigation found Cuomo aides retaliated against Boylan.

Meanwhile, Cuomo and aides face the results of an impeachment investigation by the Assembly’s judiciary committee, though Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has argued the body doesn’t have clear legal authority for impeaching Cuomo to prevent him from running for office again.

Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Lavine has said the committee will release findings from their months-long investigation, but it’s unclear when it will do so or how comprehensive they will be. The committee has looked at whether Cuomo’s book deal violated ethics laws, sexual misconduct allegations, his administration’s handling of COVID-19 data, and whether members of Cuomo’s family were unlawfully prioritized for COVID-19 testing when tests were scarce.

Lavine, a Democrat, didn’t respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

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DOH: State’s school COVID tracker will be back up before October

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DOH: State’s school COVID tracker will be back up before October

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Since the beginning of the school year, the state’s COVID tracking website for school districts has been unavailable while undergoing maintenance. At the latest, it will be back online by September 27, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Beginning September 13 New York schools were required to report COVID cases to the DOH on a daily basis, as they were during the 2020-2021 school year.

“All the information will be available when the website update is complete and updated daily during the week.  Local school districts outside of New York City should also have this information readily available on their website,” said DOH Spokesperson, Abigail Barker.

Between a shortage of bus drivers and an increase in COVID cases, the Galway School District had been back from summer vacation a little less than a week when they went to virtual learning. After a week of remote, the school welcomed students back.

“We are looking forward to our student’s in-person learning every day for the rest of the year,” said Superintendent Brita Donovan.

The Albany City School District posts COVID updates on its website and also sends them to NEWS10. On Wednesday the school reported eight new cases of COVID. There have been 54 cases since September 1, according to the district’s website.

Barker said opening schools has not impacted the community transmission rate, based on preliminary data. However, the Albany City School District isn’t taking any chances. They’ve cancelled all homecoming events because of COVID.

“We are disappointed to have to take this step. However, COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in our school district and our region, and we believe cancelling this event is the best decision in our efforts to protect the health and safety of our students, their families, our employees, and the entire community,” the district said Wednesday.

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Gabby Petito investigation: Arrest warrant issued for missing Brian Laundrie

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Gabby Petito investigation: Arrest warrant issued for missing Brian Laundrie

Law enforcement officials issued an arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie, days after he went missing and the body of Gabby Petitio was found, FBI officials said Thursday.

The FBI urged people with information to come forward. Laundrie, without authorization, allegedly used a debit card and PIN to buy more than $1,000 worth of items between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, according to the indictment.

“While this arrest warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” the FBI said.

The attorney for Laundrie’s family quickly noted the arrest warrant is not for Petito’s death.

“It is my understanding that the arrest warrant for Brian Laundrie is related to activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise,” the attorney said. “The FBI is focusing on locating Brian and when that occurs the specifics of the charges covered under the indictment will be addressed in the proper forum.”

Search teams found nothing of note Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park where they have spent days looking for Laundrie.

The search resumed Wednesday morning at the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Carlton Reserve park and ended just before dark, North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor said. Investigators say Laundrie’s parents told them he had gone there after returning home without Petito on Sept. 1.

Petito, 22, was reported missing Sept. 11 by her parents after she did not respond to calls and texts for several days while the couple visited parks in the West. Her body was discovered Sunday at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as a homicide — meaning her death was caused by another person — but did not disclose how she was killed pending further autopsy results. Laundrie, 23, is not charged with any crime but is considered a person of interest in the case.

With online sleuths and theories multiplying by the day, the FBI and police have been deluged with tips about possible Laundrie sightings. Taylor, the North Port spokesperson, said none have so far panned out. He also batted down rumors that Laundrie had been captured Tuesday.

“These reports are unfortunately false. Please rest assured that when Brian is found, we will be more than happy to let everyone know,” Taylor said in an email.

Petito and Laundrie grew up together in Long Island, New York, but moved in recent years to North Port, where his parents live. Their home, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota, was searched by investigators earlier this week and a Ford Mustang driven by Laundrie’s mother was towed from the driveway. Authorities believe Laundrie drove that car to the Carlton Reserve before disappearing.

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Goldschmidt homers twice, Cards beat Brewers for 12th in a row

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Goldschmidt homers twice, Cards beat Brewers for 12th in a row

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 and extend their longest winning streak in 39 years to 12 games.

On a day Adam Wainwright faltered early, St. Louis trailed 5-0 before rallying with one run in the fifth, four in the seventh, two in the eighth, and one in the ninth.

The Cardinals moved five games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, who both played later Thursday, for the second NL wild card.

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Should I get a flu shot if I’m getting a COVID vaccine booster?

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Should I get a flu shot if I’m getting a COVID vaccine booster?

ST. LOUIS – COVID-19 booster shots could become more widely available right as doctors recommend that people get their flu shots. But is it okay to get both vaccines at the same time?

The flu season is upon us at a time when the country already is battling a resurgence of the coronavirus. Doctors are urging Americans to avail themselves of any and all vaccines they are eligible for.

An FDA advisory panel is endorsing the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for people 65 and older and those with certain health conditions that compromise their immune systems. The CDC says, yes, you can get the COVID vaccine and the flu shot at the same time and one won’t interfere with the other.

“Flu vaccine influenza vaccine has been co-administered with other vaccines for decades people needed their tetanus or some other vaccine at the same time we always did that we do them in separate arms because if you have redness or a reaction you want to know which one it was,” said Dr. Peter Montgomery, a physician with SSM Health Family Medicine.

Montgomery says the flu shots are available now.

“We want to get people vaccinated hopefully by Thanksgiving and it will take a while to get everybody in to get that done, ideally for the whole population around Halloween, so I would say if you can get it now, get it now,” he said.

The flu season can run from now until spring. SSM Health is reporting zero flu cases throughout its system so far this flu season. Last year, there were few flu cases reported. That is attributed to widespread mask use and social distancing.

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Two suspects arrested for shooting death of Denver man in Adams County

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Two suspects arrested for shooting death of Denver man in Adams County

Two suspects have been arrested in the shooting death of a Denver man in an Adams County apartment complex parking lot.

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico

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Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico

WASHINGTON — Fossilized footprints discovered in New Mexico indicate that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago, researchers reported Thursday.

The first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park in 2009. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently analyzed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from around 22,800 and 21,130 years ago.

The findings may shed light on a mystery that has long intrigued scientists: When did people first arrive in the Americas, after dispersing from Africa and Asia?

Most scientists believe ancient migration came by way of a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. Based on various evidence — including stone tools, fossil bones and genetic analysis — other researchers have offered a range of possible dates for human arrival in the Americas, from 13,000 to 26,000 years ago or more.

The current study provides a more solid baseline for when humans definitely were in North America, although they could have arrived even earlier, the authors say. Fossil footprints are more indisputable and direct evidence than “cultural artifacts, modified bones, or other more conventional fossils,” they wrote in the journal Science, which published the study Thursday.

“What we present here is evidence of a firm time and location,” they said.

Based on the size of the footprints, researchers believe that at least some were made by children and teenagers who lived during the last ice age.

David Bustos, the park’s resource program manager, spotted the first footprints in ancient wetlands in 2009. He and others found more in the park over the years.

“We knew they were old, but we had no way to date the prints before we discovered some with (seeds) on top,” he said Thursday.

Made of fine silt and clay, the footprints are fragile, so the researchers had to work quickly to gather samples, Bustos said.

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Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey out at Texans with hamstring injury

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Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey out at Texans with hamstring injury

HOUSTON — Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey left Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans with a hamstring injury and will not return.

McCaffrey had a 2-yard run early in the second quarter and went to the medical tent on the sideline soon after that. The team announced he was out for the rest of the game later in the second quarter.

McCaffrey had seven carries for 31 yards and two receptions for nine yards before he was injured.

McCaffrey has been great in the first two games for the Panthers. He entered the game with 45 carries for 170 yards and 14 receptions for 154 yards.

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MLB, union send notices of intent to seek labor changes

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MLB, union send notices of intent to seek labor changes

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and the players’ association sent the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service letters of intent to seek new labor terms as the Dec. 1 expiration of the sport’s collective bargaining agreement approaches.

The notices, a formality under federal labor law required during every negotiation, were exchanged Aug. 26 by Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem and Ian Penny, the general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Under federal labor law, a collective bargaining agreement may not be modified or terminated unless a side seeking to make changes notifies the other side more than 60 days in advance of expiration and tells the mediation service within 30 days of giving notice.

Baseball has not had a work stoppage since the 7 1/2-month strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series. The sides reached agreements without work stoppages in 2002, 2006, 2011 and 2016, but the relationship has become more strained in recent years as the salary escalation has slowed.

The average salary rose from $3.97 million in 2016 to just under $4.1 million in 2017, according to union figures, then dropped to $3.9 million in 2020 before accounting for a shortened season caused by the pandemic that reduced the figure to about $1.6 million.

Based on opening day figures, the 2021 final average is likely to be in the $3.6 million to $3.7 million range.

Negotiations have proceeded slowly, and both sides appear to be bracing for a lockout that could start either on Dec. 1 or when players are scheduled to report to spring training in February.

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