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Staffing shortages temporarily close 4 Total Access Urgent Cares in St. Louis area

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Staffing shortages temporarily close 4 Total Access Urgent Cares in St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS – A lack of employees to meet the COVID demand affects local urgent cares. 

The company has seen the highest volumes of patients needing care since they opened in 2008. Company officials say nearly 2,000 patients a day are walking through the doors of Total Access locations. More than half are there for COVID-19 testing. 

Some people were showing up at the closed sites as the demand was well above what the clinics saw before the pandemic. 

Company official says they need more employees and until they get up to speed in staffing, four locations have temporarily closed. 

“Because of these volumes being so high, we’ve actually had to consolidate due to staffing shortages,” said Ashley Williams, vice-president of operations for Total Access Urgent Care.

“Unfortunately, some people have decided to completely leave medicine. You know, these are 12-hour shifts. These team members are working really hard and they want to help, but it’s been a really trying year.” 

Total Access is launching its own EMT school next month with the goal of increasing the number of trained medical staff in the region. And the company says it will reimburse tuition for students. 

The Total Access Urgent Care locations that temporarily closed are in St. Charles, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, and O’Fallon, Missouri.

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Showtime series ‘Billions’ to film in Albany, more productions looking to film upstate

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Showtime series ‘Billions’ to film in Albany, more productions looking to film upstate

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Showtime series “Billions” will be filming in Albany. The TV drama is about power and politics in New York high finance. The series stars Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis and Maggie Siff.

Debby Goedeke, the Albany Film Commissioner, says the series came and scouted the city over the summer and reached back out a few weeks ago with regards to filming.

The series will be boosting the local economy with purchasing hotel rooms, permit fees, location fees, eating at restaurants and shopping local. Goedeke says the series will also be hiring locals for extras and crew.

“I do not know which stars will actually be in Albany, but I am certain they will feel the ‘Albany Love,’ says Goedeke.

Other productions are looking to film in the Capital Region as well. Goedeke says another TV series is looking at Albany and an independent film is scouting Albany and the Capital Region this week.

As upstate New York is becoming a more popular filming location, several Capital Region counties joined together to create Film Upstate NY. Goedeke says they created a logo and will be working on a website shortly.

“There is always strength in numbers and this will provide all of us additional opportunities for TV and film productions,” said Goedeke.

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Berkshire DA testifies on supervised drug consumption sites

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Berkshire DA testifies on supervised drug consumption sites

BOSTON (WWLP) — Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington testified before the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery on the topic of supervised drug consumption sites Monday.

Safe consumptions sites are places where an individual can use controlled substances in the presence of medical professionals. They are considered by many to be an effective tool in combatting the current opioid overdose crisis. These sites have been installed across Canada and versions have been approved by lawmakers in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

The hearing included a section devoted to decriminalization and another focused on safe consumption sites, also known as supervised injection sites.

Under current law, any individual caught with a controlled substance not “obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice,” could face severe criminal charges. If the proposed bills on decriminalization passes through the Legislature, the criminal component of individuals holding controlled substances would instead face a fine of no more than $50.

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  • Guilderland man killed in single-vehicle crash
  • New era: Dwayne Killngs leads first official practice for UAlbany

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Zac Brown Band concert at SPAC canceled

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Zac Brown Band concert at SPAC canceled

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) – Nurses and hundreds of other staff members will soon begin wearing panic buttons at a Missouri hospital where assaults on workers tripled after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cox Medical Center Branson is using grant money to add buttons to identification badges worn by up to 400 employees who work in the emergency room and inpatient hospital rooms. Pushing the button will immediately alert hospital security, launching a tracking system that will send help to the endangered worker. The hospital hopes to have the system operational by the end of the year.

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Argyle, Fort Edward fire departments no longer have to travel 28+ miles for training

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Argyle, Fort Edward fire departments no longer have to travel 28+ miles for training

ARGYLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over the weekend, two Washington County fire departments came together to make life easier for both of them.

Firefighters and community members from Argyle and Fort Edward fire departments gathered on Saturday outside a new, three-story training facility that will keep both departments closer to home.

The new building will mean an end to both departments taking their staff, equipment and firefighting vehicles to Saratoga County’s training facility in Milton, a regular practice in previous years.

Doing so meant taking those personnel and assets far away from where they would be needed in case of fire; about 28 miles away for Fort Edward, and nearly 35 for Argyle.

Pete Kitchner, Fort Edward Fire Department’s Chief of Training, thanked those who helped bring the structure into being.

It’s built out of shipping containers, allowing for a variety of training options and different layouts in order to simulate different real-life scenarios firefighters might find themselves in.

Trainees can get experience with live fires, indoor burns, roof operations and rescue, wall breaches, emergency escape, FAST (Firefighter Assist Search Team), standpipe operations and more.

The $200,000 project was several years in the making. Among those thanked on Saturday were Fort Edward Fire District Commissioners; Chiefs Matthew Hurlbert and Tom Plude; and the Fort Edward Fire Department and J.A. Barkley Hose Co. No 1. Inc in Argyle.

Funding for the new training came with help from both departments, with Fort Edward securing funds needed to build the structure, and Argyle getting the money for work onsite to get it built.

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Cherry Creek School Board candidate files lawsuit against the school district

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Cherry Creek School Board candidate files lawsuit against the school district

A Cherry Creek School Board candidate with disabilities has filed a federal lawsuit against the school district, seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow her to run for the board without having to wear a COVID-19 mask during her candidacy at public forums.

Schumé Navarro, in a complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver, claims that she is “disabled and unable to wear certain face coverings due to her disabilities.”

A candidate for the District D seat, Navarro’s disability stems from “severe child abuse incidents that included suffocation,” according to the complaint. “The disability causes her to panic and have substantial difficulty concentrating when her mouth or nose is covered.”

A licensed cosmetologist, Navarro graduated from Cherry Creek High School in 2004. She owns and operates Peacock Vanity.

“She simply wants to compete on an equal playing field with the other candidates, without being discriminated against based on her disabilities,” said Dan Burrows, legal director of Public Trust Institute, a Colorado nonprofit organization. Burrows and PTI represent Navarro.

Navarro has filed the necessary documents to run for the board and her name will appear on the November 2021 election ballot, according to the complaint.

On Sept. 14, Navarro was instructed to wear a mask at a candidate forum at Overland High School. She took it off because she was having “difficulty breathing, substantial anxiety, and overwhelming distraction.” the lawsuit said.

On Sept. 21, the school district sent an email to all board members saying they must wear a mask while speaking or be considered a “trespasser” and be barred from school property, according to the lawsuit.

Navarro is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to allow her to run for the board without wearing a mask. She claims the district is “unlawfully discriminating against her based on her disabilities.”

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Hochul addresses Police Officers’ Memorial Ceremony

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Hochul suspends state hiring freeze

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke at the Annual Police Officers’ Memorial Ceremony at the Empire State Plaza. This year’s ceremony recognizes 101 officers:

  • Eight officers from the state Attorney General’s Office, CSX Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Port Authority Police Department who died in the line of duty before 2019
  • 10 NYPD officers who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020
  • 83 officers from the NYPD, PAPD, New York State Police, state Department of Environmental Conservation Police, Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison Police Department, and Suffolk County Police Department who died of illnesses from their work at Ground Zero in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001

With their names added, the memorial now honors 1,668 fallen officers.

“We’re remembering 101 brave women and men who gave their lives in order to protect and serve the people of New York State, and it’s vital that we honor their contributions to our public safety,” Hochul said. “These brave officers put their lives in harm’s way so the rest of us could stay safe, and we will never forget the selfless contributions they, their families, and their loved ones have made.”

Hochul also directed the following landmarks to be illuminated blue Tuesday night to honor fallen police:

  • One World Trade Center
  • Grand Central Terminal – Pershing Square Viaduct
  • MTA LIRR – East End Gateway at Penn Station
  • The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
  • The Kosciuszko Bridge
  • The Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge
  • The H. Carl McCall SUNY Building
  • State Education Building
  • Alfred E. Smith State Office Building
  • Albany International Airport Gateway
  • The Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex
  • The Main Gate and Expo Center at the State Fairgrounds
  • Niagara Falls

Take a look at Hochul’s remarks below:

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New Heinz roller gets ‘every last drop’ out of ketchup packets

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New Heinz roller gets ‘every last drop’ out of ketchup packets

Heinz Packet Roller (Credit: Heinz)

(NEXSTAR) – Kraft Heinz has a new gadget that the company says is “the biggest thing to happen to sauce since packets.”

The Heinz Packet Roller is a pocket-sized, ketchup bottle-shaped doohickey that lets users squeeze the most out of a condiment packet. Heinz says it’s “magically engineered to bring you every last drop.”

“Do not click ‘purchase’ unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce,” advised the Heinz Packet Roller website. “Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet.”

The roller sells for $5.70 and can even be put on a keychain, so it’s always at the ready. It also features a packet-corner cutter, to help slice open the sauces.

Food chains nationwide have experienced a shortage of ketchup packets caused by a surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Kraft Heinz confirmed to USA TODAY earlier this year that it was working to increase packet supplies — including adding manufacturing lines to raise production by an estimated 25% to 12 billion packets a year.

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Dozens of Massachusetts State Police reportedly resign over vaccine mandate

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Dozens of Massachusetts State Police reportedly resign over vaccine mandate

BOSTON (WWLP) — The union representing roughly 1,800 members of the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) says dozens of troopers have resigned as a result of the state’s COVID vaccine mandate. 

Even so, NEWS10’s sister station in Springfield learned Monday night that one State Police trooper has indicated he will resign over the vaccination mandate. No other official notifications of resignations have reportedly been submitted to the department. However, other troopers have reached out to the MSP Human Resources to evaluate their pensions should they choose to resign or retire now.

“To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask-wearing and regular testing,” said Michael Cherven, the president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts.

This comes after a judge denied a union request to put the vaccine requirement on hold to allow more time to negotiate terms and conditions. Back in August, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that all executive department employees would be required to show proof of vaccination by October 17 or risk getting fired. 

“Throughout COVID, we have been on the front lines protecting the citizens of Massachusetts and beyond. Simply put, all we are asking for are the same basic accommodations that countless other departments have provided to their first responders, and to treat a COVID-related illness as a line of duty injury,” Cherven added.

Since announcing the mandate, Gov. Baker has stood firm on his decision, saying it’s the best way to protect the public and those who work in public-facing jobs. Several states across the country have mandated vaccinations for their public workers, however, they are allowing a weekly testing alternative to vaccination.

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Keeler: CSU Rams should say “no thanks” when American Athletic Conference calls

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Keeler: CSU Rams should say “no thanks” when American Athletic Conference calls

East Carolina? Tulsa? No thanks.

South Florida? Temple? Why? So The Daz can feel closer to home?

Don’t do it, CSU.

Take a pass, Joe Parker. Move on, Joyce McConnell. Whatever ails the Rams — stadium debt, brand depreciation and a football program with a Kansas-esque 9-23 record (.281) since August 2018 — won’t be solved by joining the American Athletic Conference. Not all of it, anyway.

We warned you, didn’t we? Texas and Oklahoma announcing they were leaving the Big 12 was only the beginning. Once big dominoes start toppling, it all trickles down eventually. The AAC has reportedly targeted at least two schools along the Front Range — CSU and Air Force — as candidates to replace Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. The Big 12 poached the latter trio from the AAC, as well as BYU, to replace the Longhorns and Sooners after the SEC poached those two gold-diggers.

Look, we get it. Canvas Stadium is too good for the Mountain West. But the Rams’ football program, post-Jim McElwain, isn’t good enough for the Power 5. CSU is one of a handful of schools stuck in Football Bowl Subdivision limbo, scratching and clawing for higher ground before the next flood rolls in.

Again, we get it. The Big 12 dream is toast. McConnell, the university president since 2019, and Parker, the Rams’ athletic director since 2015, want to show the donors something for their patronage. Something beyond a sumptuous view of terrible football.

Don’t do it, CSU.

Oh, we know. On one hand, it’s almost flattering to be asked to join a new conference. By virtue of television payouts, the AAC is a step up from the MW, a circuit that CSU helped found in May 1998 after a clandestine meeting at DIA.

The AAC wants Denver TV eyeballs, given that the markets in Houston (2.5 million television homes, according to the Nielsen Company), Orlando (UCF, 1.79 million) and Cincinnati (0.926 million) will soon be part of the Big 12’s mangled, gerrymandered footprint.

Only here’s the thing: While you can’t throw a breakfast burrito in our fair burg without hitting a Rammie alum, CSU football under coach Steve Addazio and predecessor Mike Bobo don’t move the broadcast needle a whit.

Four of the Rams’ games in 2019 on the ESPN family of networks reportedly averaged 644,500 viewers per tilt, according to SportsMediaWatch.com. In 2017, the site listed the average audience of Rams appearances on ESPN at 920,000 per game, including streaming.

But the money, you say. Yeah? Read the fine print. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported earlier this month that ESPN has a clause in its contract with the AAC over “membership composition” that could reduce future payments if the league lost its biggest television markets.

The MW’s deal with FOX and CBS Sports is reportedly worth roughly $4.1 million annually to the Rams. ESPN pays AAC members around $7 million a year — but that was before Houston (No. 8 TV market, according to the Nielsen Company), Orlando (No. 17) and Cincinnati (No. 36) left the room.

AAC commish Mike Aresco is going to make the argument to the Disney suits that Broncos Country is AAC Country. But when your replacement plan includes Colorado Springs/Pueblo (No. 82 market, 0.38 million TV households) and Fort Collins, you better believe Mickey Mouse is going to want some of that cheese back in his pockets.

Canvas Stadium is 1,748 miles from Temple, a 26-hour drive if you take I-80 straight through. It’s 1,909 miles to the USF campus in Tampa. Follow I-70 for 13 hours to St. Louis, wave “Hi” to Nolan Arenado, take a slight right, then chug another 15 hours south.

Don’t do it, CSU.

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St. Louis County officer shoots at armed man while attempting arrest

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St. Louis County officer shoots at armed man while attempting arrest

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Louis County officer fired shots at a person wanted for assault after the suspect allegedly pointed a gun at police attempting to make an arrest.

According to Sgt. Tracy Panus, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Police Department, the incident happened Tuesday just after 1 p.m., in the 10400 block of Lord Drive.

Panus said officers from the department’s Special Response Unit were attempting to arrest a suspect wanted for a domestic assault suspect, who was seated in a car on Lord Drive.

As the suspect got out of the vehicle, Panus said the person pointed a firearm at a police officer. The officer fired his own weapon at the suspect.

No one was injured and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident, Panus said.

The officer who fired the shots is 38 years of age with 6 years of law enforcement experience.

The St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is leading the investigation.

Anyone with information on the investigation is asked to contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210. To remain anonymous or potentially receive a reward, contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS.

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