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NC State worker dies in Raleigh campus construction accident

The future Plant Sciences Initiative building at N.C. State.

The future Plant Sciences Initiative building at N.C. State.

NC State

A construction worker died on N.C. State University’s campus after a lift collapsed in wet ground, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The lift carrying the worker on Saturday was extended about 35 feet in the air when the dirt caved in around one of its tires, said Natalie Bouchard, DOL spokeswoman.

DPR Construction identified the subcontractor as Tiburcio Mendoza.

Campus police were called to the scene but are not investigating the incident and do not have a report, university spokesman Mick Kulikowski said. He added he believed the worker died of injuries at WakeMed.

The accident happened at the site of N.C. State’s new Plant Sciences building, a 185,000-square-foot project.

Ro Norman of DPR Construction said the worker was a subcontractor and the team is “deeply saddened.”

“Our focus continues to be the safety of all employees, workers and visitors on our job sites,” Norman said in an email. “The investigation of this incident is ongoing, and DPR is fully committed to working closely with investigators to help determine the details surrounding this incident. At this time, our thoughts are with this individual’s family and friends.”

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Annual NARI Home & Remodeling Show starts Oct. 16 at State Fair Park

The annual NARI Home & Remodeling Show will be slightly smaller this year as the coronavirus pandemic keeps more people at home and interested in making improvements. 



a person standing in front of a building: Trent Kosik from Window Select in Menomonee Falls paints the doors of a 'She Shed' that will be on display at the Nari Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show at Wisconsin State Fair Park this weekend.


© Angela Peterson/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Trent Kosik from Window Select in Menomonee Falls paints the doors of a ‘She Shed’ that will be on display at the Nari Milwaukee Spring Home Improvement Show at Wisconsin State Fair Park this weekend.

NARI Milwaukee is hosting its home and remodeling show Oct. 16-18 at State Fair Park. 

Around 70 NARI Milwaukee members will host exhibit booths. Last year, more than 100 members staffed exhibit booths. The home and remodeling show has exhibitors for all types of remodeling and home improvement products and services. 

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“We’re excited to connect homeowners who are eager to get their home improvements underway with local contractors. By hosting a safe and accessible show, we’re helping reopen the economy and support area small businesses,” said Diane Welhouse, executive director of NARI Milwaukee, in a news release. “Nearly 80% of our members are small businesses with fewer than 10 employees so the annual show is important to them.” 

With people staying at home more during the pandemic, NARI members have said that business is good even though some segments of the economy are seeing significant declines as a result of COVID’s effect on business.  

“Today’s home is working overtime as adults and children are using it as their restaurant, office, classroom, entertainment spot and vacation destination,” Welhouse said in the release. “NARI Milwaukee members report many homeowners are looking to improve, repurpose and expand their space due to these increased demands.” 

Changes if you plan on attending

The show will have a limited capacity with one-way aisles to enforce social distancing. All exhibitors

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Nursing homes in Washington state struggled with adequate staffing for years. Then coronavirus struck.

In early March, state inspectors entered a sprawling nursing home in the rural southeast corner of King County where concerns over thin staffing were mounting just as COVID-19 began to spread across the state.

One resident inside the Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center said she hadn’t been bathed for nearly three weeks after she first arrived, according to inspection records. Another described waiting roughly 15 minutes for help after her roommate fell on the floor, while others told of even longer waits for help, lasting 45 minutes or more.

“Sometimes there are so few people in the building,” the resident told inspectors, “if there were an emergency, it would be a calamity.”

Within weeks, coronavirus entered the nursing home, and workers scrambled to help ailing residents, as some got sick themselves. In all, the outbreak killed 26 people, according to the state.

As COVID-19 devastated nursing homes across the state, long-standing staffing woes created a perfect storm at many facilities at a time when workers were needed most. Even though inspectors had routinely found appalling instances of time-strapped staff and patient suffering over the years, Washington state hadn’t raised its standard for adequate staffing.

A Seattle Times analysis found that inspectors cited 118, or more than half, of the state’s skilled nursing facilities a total of 225 times for having insufficient or unqualified staff, according to federal data from 2018 through the start of the pandemic. The state rarely penalized nursing homes for these deficiencies, according to an analysis of thousands of pages of enforcement documents.

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In dozens of interviews and a review of inspection reports, workers described poor wages

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Nursing homes to organize their own COVID testing as state focuses on testing in jails, homeless shelters | Health

The state Department of Health and Human Services has been negotiating with COVID-19 testing labs to run the state’s regular testing of nursing home staff, but announced last week that nursing homes will soon have to organize those tests themselves.

Each facility will make its own contracts with testing labs, Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette told nursing home administrators in a phone conference last week, and the state will reimburse up to $100 per test.

“It still provides the funding and the support that is needed to have a good surveillance program,” Shibinette said.

In the event of another outbreak at a nursing home, Shibinette said, the state will again organize and pay for testing. The state provided nursing home administrators with a list of labs that can process tests and contact information for each, and Shibinette expects most nursing homes to have contracts and be running their own testing programs in two weeks.

Shibinette said she hoped turning over that responsibility to nursing homes would free up the state’s capacity to organize regular testing in other congregate living settings, including homeless shelters and jails, to detect more cases early.

The state still dictates how often the tests need to be conducted, what kinds of tests are used and how many staff need to be tested.

Every fourth week, all nursing homes will have to test their entire staff. On the other weeks, nursing homes will randomly pick 10% of their staff to get tested.

But the cost of testing can vary. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center charges $102 for COVID tests, according to the hospital’s website. A review of COVID test prices by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/covid-19-test-prices-and-payment-policy/ found wide variation in how much tests cost. Some providers charge less than $50 per

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