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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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The Latest: California governor tests negative for virus | National News

That decision was based on letting people “go ahead and live,” DeWine said.

“Allowing some more people to go root for the Bengals, go root for the Browns, is something that people feel very passionately about-—we think they can do it safely,” the governor said.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri on Thursday reported an increase of more than 1,500 confirmed COVID—19 cases and the highest number of hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases since the pandemic began.

Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services showed a total of 137,156 confirmed cases and 2,259 deaths since March. That was 1,505 more cases and 23 more deaths than reported Wednesday.

The department also reported 1,344 Missourians were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID–19 cases on Wednesday — up from 1,241 the previous day. The state averaged 1,204.9 hospitalizations in the previous seven days.

One of the largest hospitals in southwestern Missouri has seen a big rise in hospitalizations. CoxHealth spokeswoman Kaitlyn McConnell said the Springfield hospital on Thursday was treating a record 93 COVID-19 patients.

“Because this surge came to the Midwest later than other parts of the country, we were able to prepare by aggressively gathering PPE and expanding our facilities, and are currently managing through this crisis,” McConnell said in an email. “However, we are distressed by the rising number of cases and what they mean in our community. We ask our community, and those across the country, to continue to take preventative measures against the spread of this virus.”

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Latest renovation plans for Tom Lee Park unveiled

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officials with Memphis River Parks Partnership unveiled the latest plans for a major renovation of Tom Lee Park Thursday.

“I think (the renovation) is probably the most significant civic project in my lifetime,” MRPP President Carol Coletta said.

The designs include a two-mile running loop, fitness zones and a large water feature with misters and fountain jets. Other aspects of the $60 million project include an elevated walking path through a canopy that’ll resemble a forest and unique play areas for kids.

“So, not your kind of off-the-shelf slide and swing set but really somewhere that’s super engaging,” MRPP official George Abbott said, “So, much of what’s in this park is inspired by the shapes, the forms, the sounds, the movement of the Mississippi River.”

The initial designs for the park renovation were released in 2019 and were met with criticism from Memphis in May organizers who feared a number of planned hills and trees would force key events like the Beale Street Music Festival and Barbecue Fest to find new homes. Eventually, both sides reached an agreement that accommodated MIM’s needs so the events could stay at Tom Lee Park.

The renovation plans also call for increased parking, accessible routes for people with disabilities and clearly marked, flashing signs at crosswalks on Riverside Drive.

“Really making a safer Riverside Drive,” Abbott said.

MRPP says it’s secured most of the project’s funding, claiming more than half of it comes from state dollars, federal dollars and private donations.

“It’s a big project. There’s a lot to get done, but we’re on a path,” Coletta said.

Coletta says crews are expected to break ground by the end of 2020, and she hopes the project will be finished by 2023.

Under the current plan, Riverside Drive will remain at four

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The Latest: Concern over rise in virus cases in US Northeast | Business News

That decision was based on letting people “go ahead and live,” DeWine said.

“Allowing some more people to go root for the Bengals, go root for the Browns, is something that people feel very passionately about-—we think they can do it safely,” the governor said.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri on Thursday reported an increase of more than 1,500 confirmed COVID—19 cases and the highest number of hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases since the pandemic began.

Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services showed a total of 137,156 confirmed cases and 2,259 deaths since March. That was 1,505 more cases and 23 more deaths than reported Wednesday.

The department also reported 1,344 Missourians were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID–19 cases on Wednesday — up from 1,241 the previous day. The state averaged 1,204.9 hospitalizations in the previous seven days.

One of the largest hospitals in southwestern Missouri has seen a big rise in hospitalizations. CoxHealth spokeswoman Kaitlyn McConnell said the Springfield hospital on Thursday was treating a record 93 COVID-19 patients.

“Because this surge came to the Midwest later than other parts of the country, we were able to prepare by aggressively gathering PPE and expanding our facilities, and are currently managing through this crisis,” McConnell said in an email. “However, we are distressed by the rising number of cases and what they mean in our community. We ask our community, and those across the country, to continue to take preventative measures against the spread of this virus.”

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The Latest: Pennsylvania sees most confirmed cases in months | National News

ROME — Italy has added Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to its list of countries at risk for the coronavirus.

Visitors from the four countries, as well as previous list members Spain and France, must be tested on arrival in Italy or show proof of a negative test in the past 72 hours.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza signed the ordinance on Thursday, the same day Italy’s new confirmed caseload passed 4,400, the highest levels since April.

Italy still has one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, at 52 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. By contrast, the Czech Republic counts 374 per 100,000, while Spain has 303, the Netherlands 285, France 257, Belgium 246, and the United Kingdom 201 per 100,000.

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar reported 1,012 new cases of the coronavirus a day after setting a record daily total of 1,400.

Authorities implemented a tight lockdown measures in Yangon, the country’s largest city with the highest number of infections.

Myanmar’s leader, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, says the government had acquired antigen test kits to quickly detect positive cases. She acknowledged a shortage of beds in hospitals in some areas to treat patients but said the health ministry was arranging more facilities.

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