Gladee, a 400-pound female, and Breton, a 1,400-pound male, both showed up in the area over the weekend.
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is set to receive nearly $1.5 million for COVID-19 related operating costs. Last week, the province announced that municipalities would be receiving an additional $500 million to help ensure critical services are delivered and capital projects stay on track during the pandemic. Chatham-Kent will receive $1,459,125. Don Shropshire, Chatham-Kent’s Chief Administrative Officer, said additional funding support from the province to help municipalities during the COVID-19 pandemic would likely go towards more personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff overtime. “We’re not sure what the additional expenses are going to be throughout the year because it’s just difficult to forecast,” admitted Shropshire. Shropshire said he is still waiting for more details to determine if there are any restrictions on how the money is spent. He added the municipality doesn’t have any specific allocations yet. He said there is no extra municipal funding built into this year’s budget for COVID-19 expenses. However, he added there is $1.4 million left over from last year’s provincial funding, which could be used in 2021 to manage a possible deficit. “We’ll have about $2.8 million to be able to apply to funding,” said Shropshire. “We’re expecting there’s still going to be PPE; there’s still going to be some overtime costs. Those are the primary expenses,” said Shropshire. According to Shropshire, last year, the municipality had more than $10 million in extra expenses related to the pandemic. However, approximately $2 million was saved by reducing some services and not operating municipal pools, arenas and day camps. Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, said the funding is being prioritized to help municipalities hardest hit by the pandemic. He added the money could be used for things like personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and bylaw enforcement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on us, and eradicating this virus remains a major priority of our government,” said Nicholls in a statement. “This funding is crucial to keeping our capital projects moving forward so we may still build for a better tomorrow.” The provincial government will provide its next update on Ontario’s finances and the plan to continue the fight against COVID-19 in the 2021 Budget. This is set to be delivered no later than March 31. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
Health Canada has approved a fourth COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot joins the growing list of approved vaccines that include shots from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca to protect Canadians against COVID-19. According to Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s Chief Medical Advisor, despite the process being completed in a shorter time frame, Health Canada’s rigorous review standards were upheld. She added the same review process was used for the other three vaccines approved for use in Canada. “At this time, we consider all available vaccines to be effective,” Sharma. “Our advice to Canadians is to get whichever vaccine is available to you.” The Janssen vaccine is available in one dose, and a study involving patients on three continents showed it was 85 percent effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness and death. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been approved for use in individuals aged 18 and older and effectively in older adults. “Almost 20 percent of the participants in the clinical trials were 65 years of age and older, and no differences in the safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups,” said Sharma. According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine appears to have a bit of a slow start to its immune response. However, it continues to build for a substantial amount of time and the longer you follow the vaccinated population, the better the numbers look. “I’m really hoping Health Canada approves it soon. Because a single dose product that only needs refrigeration, wow, we can really work with that and get it distributed in a widespread way,” said Colby. The agency has also authorized a clinical trial in children aged 12 to 17. Another advantage of the Janssen vaccine is that it can be stored in a regular refrigerator. Sharma said it could be kept at temperatures between 2 and 8 C for up to three months, allowing for easy transportation of doses from site to site. Canada has pre-ordered 10 million doses of the vaccine, with options to order up to 28 million more. Additionally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Pfizer-BioNTech has agreed to move up a portion of its vaccines, originally scheduled for the summer, with an additional 1.5 million doses arriving in March. This means Canada will have access to a total of eight million vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca by the end of March. This is up from an original commitment of six million doses. Canada is now on track to receive 36.5 million doses, and by the end of the third quarter, 117.9 million, which will include the now-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
Elle Stevenson, who appeared on the show in 2015was branded "fat", "ugly", "elephant man" and a "dirty tramp" during her time at Eden Beck.
MONTREAL — Quebec on Monday eased COVID-19 restrictions in five regions, including the capital, permitting residents to return to the gym and restaurant dining rooms for the first time in months. The government also pushed back the nighttime curfew from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Quebec City, Chaudiere-Appalaches, Estrie, Mauricie and Centre-du-Quebec, which were downgraded from "red" to "orange" under the province's pandemic-alert system. Premier Francois Legault has opted to maintain restrictions in Montreal and the surrounding regions because public health authorities fear a novel coronavirus variant will soon cause regional case numbers and hospitalizations to rise again. Legault has said the province is racing to vaccinate vulnerable older adults before the more transmissible mutation first identified in the United Kingdom becomes the dominant form of the virus in the city. Francois Meunier, vice-president of public affairs for Quebec’s restaurant industry group, Association Restauration Quebec, said the reopening of restaurants in orange zones has given people hope of “being able to start living again a little.” He said demand appears strong, with lines forming outside breakfast restaurants in Quebec City Monday morning. Meunier said many of his group's members have been scrambling to hire staff, adding that some won’t open for a few more days. He said capacity limits and the curfew will make it very difficult for restaurants to turn a profit, but he said most want to open anyway. “Right now, the goal isn’t so much profitability,” he said in an interview Monday. “The goal is improving the mental health of restaurant owners,” he said, adding that full closure is something that is “no longer possible, no longer livable.” Meunier says restaurants have a strict set of rules to follow, including mandatory reservations, collecting clients' contact information, checking addresses to ensure customers aren't from red zones, and limiting tables to a maximum of two adults and their minor children. He noted that about half the province’s restaurants remain closed because they are located in red zones, such as Montreal. He said they want to reopen as soon as possible, but stressed that “nothing would be worse” than opening their doors only to have to close them again a few weeks later. Cases and hospitalizations across the province have stabilized in recent weeks after a dramatic drop earlier in the year. On Monday, the province reported 579 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, none of which occurred in the past 24 hours. Hospitalizations remained relatively stable — down by two, to 590 — while the number of intensive care patients rose by one, to 108. Health Minister Christian Dube has said the province will step up the pace of vaccinations this week as more regions join Montreal in opening mass immunization clinics to the general public. As of Sunday night, the provincial vaccine booking website said the age of eligibility for shots ranged from 70 years old to 80 years old, depending on the region. Dube said Monday on Twitter Quebec would receive over 213,000 vaccine doses this week, including 113,000 of the recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Quebec has not yet announced which groups will receive the new vaccine, but Dube promised a "game plan" soon. Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has said the AstraZeneca vaccine is not recommended for people aged 65 years and over because of insufficient data, but Quebec has said it will wait for its own immunization committee's advice before making a decision. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
U.S. Capitol Police should expand staffing, improve intelligence gathering and coordinate better with the National Guard, a review found Monday.
The best-seller has won over thousands of Amazon shoppers.
Sono Bello, a nationwide cosmetic surgery specialist whose mission is to transform lives, is partnering with international nonprofit Dress for Success to present the Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day "31 Days of Women in Power" campaign to help women get the tools they need to re-enter the workforce, an expansion of the "Your Hour, Her Power" global campaign.
The Minnesota Vikings signed defensive end Stephen Weatherly to a one-year, $2.5 million contract on Monday, bringing back one of their past draft picks to try to strengthen a lagging pass rush. Weatherly played last season with the Carolina Panthers, who released him on Feb. 19. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Weatherly spent the first four years of his career as a rotational player with the Vikings, who took him in the seventh round out of Vanderbilt in 2016.
Converse is offering an extra 30% off tons of footwear and clothing for its epic Friends and Family Sale—find out more.
Around $450 billion of Biden’s $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan" is earmarked to go directly to Americans’ wallets. Here’s what you need to know.
WARSAW, Poland — Women's rights activists in Poland marked International Women's Day on Monday caught between reasons to celebrate and a heavy sense that they are facing a long battle ahead. This year's Women's Day, which was marked with protests, comes after a near total ban on abortion took effect in January in the mostly Roman Catholic country, a step that had long been been sought by the conservative ruling party, Law and Justice. But as Polish Women's Strike leader Marta Lempart told The Associated Press ahead of a protest in Warsaw, Poland is also a country that is undergoing rapid secularization, with support growing for a liberalized abortion law. She and other movement leaders are convinced that the process of social change ultimately will favour their struggle for reproductive freedom. Monday's protest focuses on abortion rights, but also included calls for greater state support for in vitro procedures and sexual education. “We have reasons to celebrate because we are a mass movement, we are the only country that is becoming secular so quickly and that is becoming feminist so quickly," Lempart said. Around her, supporters of the Women's Strike poured into its Warsaw office, preparing banners and other materials for their “Women's Day Without Compromises” protest hours later. Compared to mass protests of the past months, Monday's protests were relatively small. The demonstrators, however, faced a large presence of police who created cordons to contain the crowd in a limited area. Police declared the gathering illegal because it defied pandemic restrictions, and officers requested identification from people and some scuffles ensued. “We keep fighting. I don't see a way to stop it,” said Klementyna Suchanow, another Women's Strike leader and the author of a book “This is War: Women, Fundamentalists, and the new Middle Ages," about global efforts by ultra-conservatives to roll back women's rights. “We are under attack by religious radicals, and this is an international movement. so we women in different countries, we need to face it and fight against it," she said. "It's something that is happening to all of us: to Argentinians, to Americans, to Poles, to Croatians." Activists noted that Polish women are getting abortions no matter what the law says, some with pills and others by travelling to Slovakia, Germany, Norway or other countries. “If a woman wants to have an abortion nothing will stop her," said activist Marta Krzynowek, who says the restriction on abortion rights are part of a larger assault on democracy in Poland. “Abortion is only one part of this picture,” she added. “We are all very, very tired, but we have the energy to try and change things. This situation isn't good and it is worth fighting for.” Suchanow noted that many activists have been arrested, charged with crimes, or faced police violence at protests. “This cannot be wasted, it cannot be for nothing,” she said. Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
Dallas' mayor has formed a committee to investigate why a police officer remained on active duty for more than a year and a half after he was implicated in two 2017 killings. Mayor Eric Johnson established the City Council committee Monday after the arrest last week of Bryan Riser on two charges of capital murder. Its creation follows days of questions about why the veteran officer was kept on patrol after being identified as a “person of interest” in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme. Riser, 36, was arrested Thursday and accused of having offered to pay three people to kidnap and kill 31-year-old Liza Saenz and 61-year-old Albert Douglas in 2017.
15-page review calls for faster ways to address emergencies and says U.S. Capitol Police needs officers, intelligence training and bomb-sniffing dogs.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Chatham Kent is full steam ahead. According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical officer of Health, he is optimistic that everyone in Chatham-Kent will have the chance to receive a vaccine in a few weeks. He added with vaccines being delivered to Canada and others awaiting approval by Health Canada, he projects the local vaccine distribution will be accelerated, and the clinic will get even busier. “I see the supply lines opening up tremendously and being able to accelerate through the phases where we have to prioritize who needs it most,” said Colby. “I’m really hoping that, within very few weeks, we’ll be able to offer the vaccine to everybody that wants it.” Colby said more than 7,000 vaccines had been administered at the mass vaccination clinic at the John Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham since it opened last week. The clinic is open by appointment only during Phase 1 of the vaccine rollout to residents, staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes, retirement homes and congregate-care settings for seniors, as well as to high-priority health-care workers and people who are at least 80 years old. In Phase 1, many Ridgetown residents over the age of 80 received the vaccine last week, along with volunteer firefighters and essential health care workers and essential caregivers at the Village Nursing Home and others. “My goal is to rocket through this stage of prioritization,” said Colby. “We’ll likely run out of all our supplies tomorrow (Friday, March 5), but we’re doing it on an appointment basis, so nobody’s going to show up and be disappointed. Our mission now is to get Chatham-Kent vaccinated. I’m very pleased to report excellent progress in that.” He added he is still waiting to hear from the province regarding the next shipment and added the vaccine supply had been a challenge. “Running out of vaccines is not so much of a short supply; it’s because of the tremendous throughput and efficiency of our vaccination clinic,” said Colby. Colby reiterated the mission is to get needles in arms as fast as possible. “There is no point in pacing ourselves and leaving vaccines in the freezers,” added Colby. “If it isn’t in arms, it’s not doing any good.” He said the four-month delay between doses recently recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization offers more flexibility and extends the protection against COVID-19. According to Colby, there is increasing scientific evidence that the first dose affords more than 90 percent of a vaccine’s protection. “Although the protection does get ramped up a bit with the second dose, the main purpose of a second dose is to provide a length of protection rather than the strength of protection,” said Colby.” The first dose is for strength, the second dose for length.” Phase 2 will be for 60 to 79-year-olds, clinically extremely vulnerable people who are 16 and older, and other risk groups. Phase 3 will be for everyone else who is at least 16 years old. “Any prioritization scheme implies that there isn’t enough vaccine yet for everyone,” said Colby. “I really look forward to the day – and I’m hoping, I will say weeks as opposed to months – when there will be enough vaccines available that we can give it to anyone that wants it." Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.(NYSE and TASE: TEVA), today announced its launch of the first available generic version of AZOPT® (brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension) 1%, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat high pressure inside the eye due to ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma. Brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1% works by decreasing the amount of fluid within the eye.
Sony Pictures Animation is developing a new movie about a pack of female K-Pop stars who slay evil spirits in between gigs. “K-Pop: Demon Hunters” is underway at the Oscar-winning studio behind “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse,” from directors Maggie Kang and Chris Appelhans. Kang, whose credits include “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” is mounting the project […]
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would commemorate the country's more than 22,000 COVID-19 victims on Thursday and pay tribute to those fighting the virus. The government declared a "National Day of Observance" on March 11 inviting Canadians "to join together in honoring the memory of those we have lost, and the people they left behind," Trudeau said in a statement on Monday. Canada has finally got a second wave under control and many provinces are loosening health restrictions even as some experts warn a third wave - propelled by more contagious variants - may already be on the way.
The 2022 Arctic Winter Games that were slated to be held in Wood Buffalo have been put on hold, according to the Arctic Winter Games International Committee. The committee says the decision to postpone is a “proactive response to the global COVID-19 pandemic”, which was reached after discussions with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the local host society and the provincial government. “There were just no guarantees for us,” says John Flynn, the president of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee. “We do not want to say cancelled [but] right now, we don’t really have a date.” The games were originally scheduled for March 6-12. Organizers are in the process of looking for a new date, Flynn added. The event attracts about 2,000 athletes from Russia, Greenland, Finland and Norway, as well as Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Nunavik and northern Alberta. The games, which typically occur every other year were also cancelled in 2020, when they were slated to occur in Whitehorse. In that case, the games were called off a week before they were supposed to start, a situation Flynn said he wants to avoid for next year. “That was a big factor,” he said. “We really don’t want what happened in Whitehorse to take place in Wood Buffalo.” Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
Nearing a full calendar year of dealing with a global pandemic, the region’s top doctor reflects on the challenges and sacrifices made. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby declared a local emergency on March 13, 2020, to deal with the virus. Chatham-Kent will mark the one-year anniversary of the region’s first confirmed case on March 17. Colby says he has also gone through a wide range of emotions, such as worry, frustration, pride, and optimism. He remembers being worried about what he saw around the world but said Chatham-Kent Public Health has been successful in “blunting” the effects of COVID-19 on the community. He adds it has been a team effort to keep the community safe during the pandemic. “With caution, we have been incredibly successful in blunting the effects of this on our community,” said Colby. “This has been a team effort and an incredible effort by a lot of people that are working up to 16-hour days, especially when we have outbreaks, to get everybody tested, diagnosed, isolated, out of circulation, plugging all the holes to make sure that nothing happened.” Colby said he is very proud of the citizens for being compliant with the public-health suggestions needed to keep everybody safe. “I would ask that we just continue doing that for a little bit longer until we can get this spring a lot of people, a critical mass of people, vaccinated and get this pandemic licked,” added Colby. “At no point was our hospital and ICU and ventilator supply overwhelmed to the point where anyone was denied care,” said Colby. “That’s what I was saying was not going to happen. It has not happened.” Mayor Darrin Canniff echoed Colby’s statement, saying it took a collective effort to keep Chatham-Kent safe. “This really showed what Chatham-Kent’s all about,” said Canniff. “We look at our success throughout this whole process, and it was us working together as a community. We’ve tackled this as well as any community ever could. I’m super proud of our community and what we’ve done here collectively.” Canniff also thanked Dr. Colby for his leadership throughout this pandemic. “He’s a major reason why we’re in the position we are today,” said Canniff. While Colby and his staff have done a good job keeping the community safe, he admitted the pandemic has been difficult on everyone, including himself, adding he has lost 35 pounds over the past year. “I have trouble remembering what life was like before the pandemic, but I’m proud to serve,” he said. He has had to deal with tensions and protests over mandatory masks, and his attempts to bring science to the discussion were not always well received. Despite the criticism from “keyboard doctors” (those who don’t have a medical degree but act as if they do), the approval rating of doctors remains high. Colby added his job reminds him a lot of the army as they’re always on standby to keep the public safe. “When there is a war, you don’t ask if you’re going to serve; you ask how you’re going to serve,” said Colby. “When you’re in the army, it’s up to you to do whatever is necessary to win the battles one by one and win the war.” He admitted everyone in the healthcare system is tired but said they still have some fight left to hold the line. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News