DVIDS – News – Under Secretary of Army McPherson tours schools, housing renovation site

FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 13, 2020) — The Army’s second-highest-ranking civilian spent a good part of his day here Oct. 7 touring training facilities, conversing with troops and spotlighting efforts to improve privatized military family housing.

Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson received a glimpse of quartermaster and ordnance training, lunched with students at the Samuel Sharpe Dining Facility and addressed members of the media outside a newly renovated residence in the Jackson Circle neighborhood.

Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee commanding general, hosted the undersecretary and accompanied him throughout the tour.

McPherson’s first stop was the QM School’s Petroleum and Water Department. There, he met with administrators, instructors and students. He also received a familiarization on the latest virtual training systems said to save time and resources while improving technical skills.

Advanced individual training Soldiers Spc. Zoya Goodwin, Pvt. Xavier Sullivan-Dixon and Pvt. Paden Bear were among those who briefed the undersecretary, walking him through a virtual training session.

“We have a new breed coming into the force, and they gravitate toward technology,” pointed out PWD Director Jose Hernandez, who was present for the briefing and spoke highly of the professionalism and confidence demonstrated by his junior Soldiers. “This is what they like, and when you mesh what they like with the learning experience, the confidence level just goes up.”

McPherson spent roughly an hour at PWD and later presented Soldiers and leaders with coins. Hernandez said he was thrilled senior leaders are taking an interest in virtual learning programs at the school and is always glad to demonstrate how students are benefiting from it.

“I thought it was a great visit,” Hernandez said. “It was good to have someone from the Pentagon visit us and see how

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West End school’s slated renovation sparks memories of neighborhood’s history of gentrification

CINCINNATI — Golan Marom may not be from the West End, but he said feels a connection to the buildings in the neighborhood anyway.

“The architecture and the history of that area, I think, is really, really wonderful,” Marom, the CEO and founder of Zada Development, said. “I think that it’s unique in that it just has its own character to it.”

The developer from New York is fixated on redeveloping the Heberle Elementary School building on Freeman Avenue, a vacant property he acquired about two years ago. Built in 1929, the school has been closed since 2007 because of its poor condition and students’ declining enrollment. Some in the neighborhood say the building has been languishing over time, as evidenced by its cracked and boarded up windows and the weeds springing up from the pavement in its front yard. In 2018, it was reported that a part of the building’s facade fell, sending bricks into the street.

Still, despite the extensive repairs that will have to be made to the building, Marom is enamored with Heberle’s charm. His vision is to rehabilitate it into a set of lofts, specifically for artists and recent college grads, as well as commercial space. He said he wants to serve the local community and create a living space that is welcoming to young people.

“What I think that the community’s lacking is not necessarily affordable housing, but maybe something, you know, a step above that,” Marom said. “You know, so housing that’s unassisted but that’s at a price point that people that are starting their lives, you know, can feel comfortable in.”

Marom’s plans are a steep departure from the original plans to redevelop Heberle. He said there were once plans to turn the school into a luxury housing space within a larger

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Stapleton Public Schools board proposes bond issue for addition, remodeling at school | Education

The movement toward the project began in earnest last year, Hora said.

“We looked at the school and the board wanted to narrow it down to what they felt was really needed,” Hora said, “and to do it fiscally responsibly.”

A brochure identifies what the project would address: safety/security, non-code-compliant restrooms, substandard locker rooms, a non-private student health and services area, a congested commons area and aging parts of the building that are no longer adequate.

Gaffney said security to monitor who enters the building is inadequate.

“The camera system doesn’t take a very wide view and there may be more than one person wanting to check in,” Gaffney said. “In visiting with other superintendents, that’s a real safety issue.”

Another issue is the music room, which lacks adequate storage, Hora said. A new music room would be part of the addition on the east side of the building and would offer adequate storage space for music equipment, she said.

The current office space and music room would be opened up to create a larger commons area, and the concession stand would occupy part of that area as well.

“Then there are the locker rooms,” Hora said. “The junior high locker rooms are in the 1914 building in the basement. They’ve done a good job of trying to fix them up, but they are just inadequate.”

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Elders and schools to get long-sought rapid COVID tests

Florida nursing homes, assisted living facilities and elder communities will soon be able to conduct 15-minute, COVID-19 tests on staff, patients and even visitors each week as part of a long-awaited federal program, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.

The governor last week said that the state would be getting 6.4 million of the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests after the federal government bought the company’s entire supply of 150 million. The weekly shipments will come in batches of 400,000.

On Tuesday, he said the state will distribute more than half of the weekly supply to homes for the state’s most vulnerable: 100,000 to long-term care facilities and 180,000 to other “senior care communities.” Of the remaining, 60,000 tests will go to state-run testing sites, and the other 60,000 tests will to school districts to screen “any student or teacher who developed symptoms and needs to be tested.”

For months, advocates for the state’s most vulnerable populations have pleaded for a testing strategy that would produce immediate results and allow caregivers the ability to know if pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic staff were exposing residents to the deadly infection.

Instead, the state relied on a porous and inconsistent plan that tested staff at nursing homes and ALFs every two weeks, then often waiting days before getting positive test results. The result was that although residents and staff at the nearly 4,000 long-term care facilities comprise 2% of the state’s population, they suffered 40% of the deaths from COVID-19.

The new tests kits are comprised of a cardboard packet the size of an index card. They require a nurse, or someone certified by the state, to swab both of a person’s nostrils, dip the swab in a reagent and wait for the results, which appear within 15 minutes.

About 800 nursing homes have already

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FL Providing Rapid Coronavirus Tests To Senior Homes, Schools

TALLAHASSEE, FL — The State of Florida this week announced it is offering up hundreds of thousands of rapid tests for the coronavirus to senior living facilities, schools and state testing sites. The tests are said to return results in 15 minutes or less.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said the state will distribute some 400,000 BinaxNOW tests this week alone. The federal government has already provided the tests to about 800 nursing homes in Florida, and the state will provide tests to the remaining 3,200 facilities, he said.

All told, about 100,000 tests will go to long term care facilities, and another 180,000 will go to senior living communities.

Another 60,000 BinaxNOW tests will be provided to schools across the state. DeSantis said schools that utilize rapid testing will be able to avoid making students isolate unnecessarily.

“If a student is either sent to school sick or becomes sick in school, you take the student out and isolate them,” the governor said. “But then, if you can get a 15 minute test and you get the negative, then you don’t have to worry about isolating some of these other students.”

DeSantis said remaining tests will be distributed to coronavirus testing sites across the state so every state-run testing site is able to offer rapid results.

The governor said senior communities that are not already scheduled to receive BinaxNOW tests can apply to receive the tests by emailing [email protected]

The tests, he said, can be used for residents, staff and visitors.

“They’ll have the ability to do [testing] as they see fit,” he said. ‘Using this new technology in a way that is protecting our most vulnerable and saving lives is really the key.”

This article originally appeared on the Across Florida Patch

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