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Bristol, Tenn. spent $800,000 less in 2019 than 2018 on private vendors, contractors | Latest Headlines

A vendor the city actually paid less was Gordon Group Investment Limited, a Nashville-based company that administered insurance for the city. It was one of the city’s top paid vendors in 2018 and 2019, the tax filings show. But in 2018, the city paid $473,013, while it paid $256,031 in 2019. Musick said this was because the city stopped retaining the firm’s services partway through 2019.

Solid waste disposal

In 2019, the city paid Eco-Safe Systems, a subsidiary of Advanced Disposal Systems, $96,696 for tipping and solid waste disposal fees it accrued dumping garbage at the company’s landfill in Blountville. It was the vendor the city paid the fourth highest amount in 2019.

The city only started using Eco-Safe’s landfill half way through 2019, after it determined it could save money taking its trash to Eco-Safe instead of Bristol, Virginia’s landfill, which it had used since 1998. Before Bristol Tennessee City Council voted to switch, it was told by the city staff that the change would save the city a net amount of roughly $70,000 a year over the next five years.

Though the city didn’t come close to saving $70,000 on solid waste fees in fiscal year 2019-20, the switch still seems to have paid off. Despite the city dropping off more solid waste in fiscal year 2019-20 than in the previous one, the city paid less to do it. Beavers said in fiscal year 2018-19, when the city was still using Bristol, Virginia’s landfill, it dropped off about 10,294 tons of solid waste and paid $233,050 to do so, but in fiscal year 2019-20, it dropped off about 10,698 tons at Eco-Safe’s landfill and paid $224,661.

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Tulsa-based Argonaut Private Equity completes sale of pipeline contractor in Northeast-Appalachian region | Business News

Tulsa-based Argonaut Private Equity has announced it has completed the sale of Otis Eastern Service, a leading contractor of pipelines for midstream and utility companies, to Artera Services, headquartered in Atlanta.

Located in Wellsville, New York, Otis Eastern was founded in 1936 and acquired by the Joyce family in 1981. During the next 33 years, the Joyce family grew Otis Eastern into a best-in-class pipeline contractor throughout the Northeast and Appalachian regions.

In 2014, Argonaut partnered with the Joyce family to facilitate succession planning and expand the management team and back office operations, which were designed to enable the company to efficiently scale to meet growing market demand. This transformation included the promotion of Casey Joyce to president and CEO, becoming the third-generation member of the Joyce family to lead the company.

“The success of Argonaut’s partnership with Otis Eastern speaks to our core focus of working alongside founder and family-owned businesses,” Argonaut CEO Steve Mitchell said in a statement. “We understand the dynamics of closely held companies and the importance of building upon the core foundation of a business. We serve as a strategic partner to management teams to unlock the next phase of growth in a company’s life cycle.”

Founded in 2002, Argonaut is a private equity firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes with $3 billion of capital deployed in direct investments in key industry sectors that include energy services, manufacturing and industrials.

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Otay Mesa detainees say shift of health services to private contractor complicates care

After spending the first part of the pandemic in the public spotlight for a large COVID-19 outbreak at Otay Mesa Detention Center, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has contracted out medical care at the facility to the private prison company that owns and operates it.



a close up of a door: Detainees at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in south San Diego wait in one of the secure areas of the medical section. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)


© Provided by San Diego Union Tribune
Detainees at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in south San Diego wait in one of the secure areas of the medical section. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Detainees interviewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune say the medical care, which had already been criticized by them and their advocates, has grown even worse than it was under ICE.

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Detainees complained of missed and late medications, multiple-day waits for medical attention and a lack of transfer of records that left staff in the dark about what treatment individual detainees were supposed to be receiving. It has also meant that those who had been approved for specialty care, such as oncology and orthopedics, would have to begin the lengthy process anew.

“The first couple of days, it was chaos,” said Guillermo Alvarez Mendonza, a detainee with diabetes, hypertension and chronic back pain. “If you were getting your blood sugar checked two or three times a day, it was midnight before they came for the first blood-sugar check.”

Both CoreCivic and ICE denied the detainees’ allegations.

“Our clinic is staffed with licensed, credentialed doctors, nurses and mental health professionals who contractually meet the highest standards of care,” said Amanda Gilchrist, spokeswoman for CoreCivic. “CoreCivic also maintains several accreditations from nationally recognized industry leaders such as the American Correctional Association, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which ensures we meet the highest standards for health care delivery.”

She said

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OSG asks SC to reverse decision allowing foreign contractors to work in private, gov’t projects

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Supreme Court to reverse its decision which allows foreign contractors to obtain licenses and participate in government or private projects in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, the OSG said that it filed a 29-page motion for reconsideration, where it argued that the limitations on the participation of foreigners in the contracting industry must be retained “to protect the interests of Filipino contractors and workers.”

The motion was signed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, Assistant Solicitor General Ma. Antonia Edita Dizon and State Solicitor II Perfecto Adelfo Chua Chen.

“Allowing the issuance of regular license to foreign contractors would result to unbridled influx of foreign contractors to the detriment of local contractors in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the concerned professionals and Filipino workers, among others,” the OSG said in the motion, which was filed on behalf of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).

The motion comes after the High Court, in a decision promulgated March 10 but released only on Aug. 26, upheld a lower court resolution that declared void a provision of Republic Act 4566 or the  Contractors Licensing Law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), which classifies the licenses that may be issued by the PCAB  to contractors into regular and special license.

Under Section 3.1 of the IRR, companies with at least 60 percent Filipino equity participation can be granted a regular license, which gives them continuing authority to engage in many contracting activities throughout a one-year period. Foreign firms can only be granted a special license, and they need to have a separate license for each contracting activity.

This regulation, according to the SC, is “a deterrent to the foreign players in the construction industry.”

According to the OSG, the

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City of Norman sued over mask mandate inside private homes

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The leader of a group that tried to recall the mayor of Norman and three city councilors is suing the city over an ordinance requiring masks be worn in private homes if more than 25 people are present.



FILE - In this June 9, 2020 file photo, Norman Mayor Breea Clark listens during a city council meeting in Norman, Okla. The Norman City Council has voted to require masks be worn inside personal homes if more than 25 people are present in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The council voted 5-3 Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2020, for the ordinance that takes effect immediately and expires Nov. 30, 2020, despite objections from residents that such a requirement violates their constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this June 9, 2020 file photo, Norman Mayor Breea Clark listens during a city council meeting in Norman, Okla. The Norman City Council has voted to require masks be worn inside personal homes if more than 25 people are present in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The council voted 5-3 Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2020, for the ordinance that takes effect immediately and expires Nov. 30, 2020, despite objections from residents that such a requirement violates their constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

The lawsuit filed Thursday by Unite Norman co-founder Sassan Moghadam alleges the Sept. 22 ordinance violates Oklahoma’s constitutional right to due process.

“For the mayor and the city council to suggest that they could barge in on any Bible study, private home, family gathering or event, is a complete overreach far beyond their authority,” Moghadam said in a statement.

A statement from the city called the ordinance a temporary and reasonable way to protect public health and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“It was never intended that police would come into private homes to ensure masks are being worn. The focus of the ordinance and its enforcement is these large nuisance parties that are potential super-spreaders in our community,” the statement read.

Unite Norman earlier this year sought recall elections for Mayor Breea Clark and three council members because of the council’s decision to reallocate $865,000 of the police department’s budget into community development programs and to create an internal auditor position

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