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BOSTON — A Massachusetts congressman who has received both doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has tested positive for the virus.,The office of U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch said Friday that the lawmaker had had a negative test result before attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The office says Lynch’s positive test result came after a staff member in his Boston office tested positive earlier this week.,A statement says Lynch isn’t displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. Lynch will self-quarantine and vote by proxy in Congress in the coming week.,Lynch is the second member of the state’s congressional delegation to test positive in as many days. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan announced she had tested positive after repeatedly testing negative.,___,THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:,Dr. Fauci sees vaccination for kids by late spring or the summer. Johnson & Johnson 1-dose shot appears to prevents virus, but less than some others. WHO team visits Wuhan hospital that had early coronavirus patients. Dubai blamed by several countries for spreading the coronavirus abroad after the city welcomed New Year’s revelers. Philadelphia’s problematic vaccine rollout raises larger questions.,___,Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak,___,HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:,PHOENIX — Arizona has surpassed 13,000 deaths related to COVID-19, just a week after rising above the 12,000 mark.,The Department of Health Services on Friday reported 203 additional deaths. The state also reported 5,028 additional confirmed coronavirus cases, increasing the state’s totals to 748,260 cases and 13,022 deaths.,COVID-19 related hospitalizations and the state’s seven-day rolling averages of new known daily cases and daily deaths have slowed recently. But hospital officials this week urged Arizonans against becoming complacent about mask wearing and social distancing.,___,FORT LAUNDERDALE, Fla. — The predominantly Black farming communities on the shore of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee will get a coronavirus vaccine station.,That announcement Friday came after a public outcry over a decision to give the Publix supermarket chain sole local distribution rights, a move that left lower-income families isolated and facing drives of 25 miles to reach the nearest store.,State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz told The Associated Press the state will set up a vaccine station in Belle Glade to serve it and its neighboring towns of Pahokee and South Bay. The station will get 5,000 doses, which is about how many people 65 and older live in the area.,___,RALEIGH, N.C. — Most North Carolina prisoners can get five days knocked off their sentences if they receive coronavirus vaccinations.,State prison officials said Friday that the package of incentives such as extra visitations and a free 10-minute phone call is aimed at motivating inmates to obtain the two necessary doses.,Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee says about 21,000 of the 29,000 offenders behind bars are eligible for sentence reductions. Those who aren’t would receive $5 prison canteen credits for undergoing vaccination.,Vaccinations are voluntary for prisoners and staff. Officials say 850 inmates have received their first dose so far and about 2,800 prison workers have done so.,About 530 prisoners have active COVID-19 cases, and eight are hospitalized. Forty-two prisoners have suffered COVID-related deaths.,___,SEATTLE – The schools chief in Washington state is pushing for teachers to get vaccinated for the coronavirus when it’s their turn but also insisting they get back to classrooms immediately, shot or not.,“The bottom line is a vaccine is a tremendous safety net but it is never the thing that is going to create the perfect scenario,” said Chris Reykdal, the state’s superintendent of public instruction.,Reykdal on Friday announced a partnership with Kaiser Permanente to offer vaccinations to the state’s 143,000 public school employees and 12,000 private school employees.,The health care company and medical provider is pledging to open its doors to all educators and school employees in the state when they become individually eligible under the state’s vaccine rollout.,Currently, that includes people who are at least 65 — or 50 and older in a multigenerational household.,The latest announcement is in line with Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision not to put teachers ahead of the general population as an entire workforce category.,___,DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says the state will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people ages 65 to 69 and school personnel on Feb. 8.,The announcement came Friday as the state updated its distribution plan to include these groups in “Phase 1b 2.” In addition to preschool through 12th grade teachers, childcare providers, bus drivers, safety workers and paraprofessionals will be eligible to receive the vaccine.,State officials say there are 408,000 people in this group, and the goal is to vaccinate 55% of them by March 5.,Adults 65 to 69 can schedule appointments through providers, and educators will get vaccines through their employers.,___,PRAGUE — The Czech Republic is banning foreigners from entering the country for non-essential reasons in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.,The Foreign Ministry says the ban, which becomes effective on Saturday, applies for all countries.,The exceptions to the ban includes those who work or study in the country. Trips to the country to visit relatives and nursing homes, receive medical care and attend weddings and funerals also are allowed.,The ban is part of a series of new restrictive measures that are tightening the country’s lockdown. They have been approved with a goal to further limit people’s contacts and movement.,Earlier in January, the day-to-day increase in coronavirus cases in the country was gradually declining since hitting a record high of nearly of nearly 18,000 on Jan 6. But the numbers didn’t drop enough and started to rise again this week.,The government is also worried about the potential impact of the more contagious British variant on the health system, which has been under serious pressure for months.,___,PARIS — France is closing its borders to people arriving from outside the European Union starting Sunday to try to stop the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.,French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the measure Friday night after an emergency government health security meeting at the presidential palace, warning of a “great risk” from the new variants.,All those arriving from other EU countries will be required to produce a negative virus test, he says. France will close all large shopping centers starting Sunday and limit travel to and from its overseas territories.,Castex ordered stepped up police checks of those who violate France’s 12-hour-a-day curfew, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants in defiance of a closure order in place since October.,Virus infections, hospitalizations and deaths have been rising steadily but not sharply in recent weeks. Many doctors have been urging a new nationwide shutdown like those imposed in several other European countries.,Castex says the measures are an attempt to avoid the economic cost of a third lockdown. Currently, more than 60% of intensive care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. France has reported more than 75,000 deaths, seventh highest in the world.,___,JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi residents scrambled to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations after Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced Friday that 15,000 new openings were available for the first of two doses.,“I’m sure they will be booked quickly!” Reeves wrote on Twitter. “Stay safe and God bless!”,In just over two hours, all of the appointments were filled.,Laurie Bertram Roberts, who splits time between her home in Jackson and a job in Alabama, told The Associated Press she and one of her daughters went online Friday and booked vaccination appointments for themselves and six other family members.,Roberts said they managed to get appointments for five people in Jackson, where they live. But, they had to book one appointment in Vicksburg, which is about an hour’s drive one way, and two in Natchez, which is about a two-hour drive in one direction.,Coronavirus vaccinations in Mississippi are currently available for people 65 and older, health care workers and those who are at least 16 and have health conditions that might make them more vulnerable to the virus.,Inoculations are being done at hospitals, community health centers, private clinics and at 19 state-run drive-thru sites.,___,SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law that extends eviction protections through the end of June.,Newsom signed the law on Friday, one day after it was approved by the state Legislature.,Last year, Newsom signed a law that banned evictions for unpaid rent for tenants who paid at least 25% of their rent owed after Sept. 1. The law Newsom signed Friday extends those protections through June 30.,The law will also use federal stimulus dollars to pay off 80% of some tenants’ unpaid rent, but only if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20%.,People who earn more than 80% of the area median income are not eligible for the money.,___,ALBANY, N.Y. — New York City restaurants can reopen for indoor dining at a quarter of capacity by Valentine’s Day, and big weddings can return statewide in March if infection rates continue to drop.,Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcements are part of a gradual loosening of economic restrictions in New York state as a post-holiday bump in infections slows down. Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped by 916 since Jan. 19 to 8,357.,Cuomo says the indoor dining ban at city restaurants that went into effect Dec. 14 is on track to be partly lifted on Feb. 14. The 50-person limit on wedding receptions may increase to 150 on March 15, as long as the venue remains at 50% capacity or under.,___,MADISON, Wis. — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers lashed out at rival Republicans who tried to repeal his statewide mask mandate.,Evers says Republicans were trying to throw out one of the only tools he has left to limit the spread of the coronavirus. GOP lawmakers and conservative groups last year convinced the state Supreme Court to kill Evers’ stay-at-home order and the limits he placed on the size of indoor gatherings.,“It is important for people to remember that masks save lives,” the governor said. “It is not about individual liberty, as others would say.” He added people aren’t at liberty to go 100 mph on highways.,Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to end the governor’s health emergency declaration, which would kill the mask mandate. Assembly Republicans were expected to follow suit Thursday but delayed a vote after learning that ending the emergency declaration would cost the state $49 million in federal food assistance.,___,ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey says it has detected the possibly more infectious coronavirus variant first found in southeast England.,Health Minister Fahrettin Koca says on Twitter that 128 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus variant in 17 cities across the country.,“We have to be vigilant about the threat of mutations,” tweeted Koca, adding that new mutations could pose a threat to the country’s vaccination drive.,The country has reported 2.4 million coronavirus cases and nearly 26,000 confirmed deaths.,___,ALGIERS, Algeria — Algeria received its first coronavirus vaccines Friday, a shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V, according to the health minister.,Minister Amar Belhimeur didn’t indicate how many arrived, although the government has said it had ordered a first batch of 500,000 doses. The government also is negotiating acquisition of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the communications minister.,Algeria will start vaccinations Saturday at a hospital in the town of Blida, where the first cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in March.,The campaign will start with health care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable populations.,Algeria has registered more than 106,000 coronavirus cases and 2,881 confirmed deaths.,___,WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says the emergence and increasing spread of coronavirus mutations means vaccine makers must be ready to make new shots to stay ahead of the public health crisis.,The government’s top infectious disease expert spoke Friday during a White House coronavirus briefing.,“This is a wake-up call to all of us,” says Fauci, noting government scientists will be working to keep pace with virus mutations.,The nature of viruses is to change in ways that promote their spread, Fauci says. The evolution of mutant versions means scientists need to be “nimble” and ready to make tweaks to vaccines. So far, the mutants haven’t overwhelmed the protective power of vaccines.,Fauci says it is important to vaccinate people as quickly as possible to keep new mutations from developing.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]A[/dropcap] scrum of small business owners huddled with local officials along Freeport’s Nautical Mile one recent Thursday to triumphantly declare that the resilient village had finally risen from the ashes—literally—after Superstorm Sandy had devastated the waterfront community.Standing alongside these local shop owners was Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, there to tout the village’s resurrection after Sandy’s record storm surge sent saltwater cascading through the streets, wreaking havoc on the dozens of shops abutting the canal.That was a year ago this month.“The message here today is that the Nautical Mile is open for business,” he beamed, a few feet away from where a hurricane-ignited blaze ripped through several businesses on Oct. 29, 2012—the day the superstorm hit.The county executive—who had walked these and many other battered streets in the days and weeks following Sandy—delivered another message: a hopeful plea for people to return to the Nautical Mile to celebrate its rebirth.“Many of these businesses got open late in the season and they need your support here,” he continued. “Come on down for dinner, the weather is still nice, the restaurants are beautiful and we all have to do our part.”As the one-year anniversary of Sandy approaches, Long Islanders across both Nassau and Suffolk counties will look back on the hurricane’s impact on the region and how homeowners and business owners bounced back.But those effects are still being felt, say local officials and advocacy groups—many of whom continue to have weekly recovery meetings despite all the work that has already been done. They point to the carcinogenic mold continuing to spread menacingly through walls; homes still gutted down to their skeletons because insurance money has yet to arrive; displaced families living in trailers or hotels or small apartments while also paying mortgages; the steady rise in food-pantry visits; more-and-more people seeking treatment for mental health issues related to the storm; and stalled infrastructure projects yet to be completed.The reality is that thousands who never thought twice about treating their families to a seafood dinner along the Nautical Mile can no longer afford to. Some have depleted their life’s savings and live with the constant fear that things will continue to get worse.And those on the frontlines with storm-ravaged residents are worried that Long Islanders less-affected by Sandy have already put the devastating storm behind them.“So many people on Long Island think Sandy was a year ago, it doesn’t matter anymore,” says Richard Schneider, a Red Cross volunteer and Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipient from Merrick. “The fact is that there still are so many that need so much help.”LIVING WITH SANDYPattie and Victor Calcano had just finished up Tropical Storm Irene-related repairs on their Berger Avenue home in Amityville when Sandy barreled into LI.The storm swallowed their home and forced the Calcanos to level the entire house and replace it with a two-bedroom trailer that they’ve been living in with their three children ever since.“It’s just basically holy hell,” Pattie says with a tired laugh.The loss of their home has been made harder by the ongoing battle with their insurance company. The Calcanos have also been forced to shell out a $30,000 rental fee for the trailer while also paying for a mortgage on a house that technically doesn’t even exist. Thus, their savings account has dried up.After what they had gone through with Irene, Pattie was sure they’d be able to do all their repairs by June. But the miniscule amount of insurance money they received compared to what they could get didn’t even start trickling in until then, forcing them to postpone repairs.“People say, ‘How are you doing?’ says Victor. “You’re tired of saying ‘horrible.’”Their story is all too common in a post-Sandy Long Island.Debbie Lemaire and her family picked up a Christmas tree last December and plopped it inside their small hotel room they had been living in since Sandy poured 46 inches of saltwater mixed with a toxic blend of oil and sewage into their Lindenhurst home.The entire house was gutted, forcing them to seek shelter elsewhere. The Lemaires are now living in Wantagh, where they pay $2,700 a month on top of the existing mortgage on their South 8th Street home.“Even people in the same neighborhoods don’t see [that Sandy still exists],” she says softly. “Support your neighbor and help us cut through this red tape. We paid the insurance premiums for 30 years. God bless the people who didn’t have insurance, they got their money, they made the repairs, they’re back.”WHERE’S THE MONEY?Three months after Hurricane Sandy battered the Northeast Congress finally approved a $60 billion aid package to help pay for the storm. Yet nearly one-year later, much of that money has yet to make it into the hands of homeowners and local municipalities who need the cash the most, say local officials and residents.“No funding has come to us yet,” blasts Mastic Beach Village Mayor Bill Biondi. “We’re still waiting for the governor to release the money that’s supposed to be coming to us.”Mastic Beach, which still has around 75 homes deemed uninhabitable and 12 that have been lifted, was one of the hardest-hit areas in Suffolk County, thanks to a breach in Westhampton Beach and two more breaches on Fire Island, which acts as a barrier for coastal communities to its north.LONG HAUL: Bill Johnson (top), of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, has been volunteering on LI since the day Sandy hit. Southern Baptist and other groups worked out of a cavernous warehouse (bottom) but were forced to relocate. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)Federal aid will handle the $700 million cost of a half-century-old Fire Island to Montauk Point storm mitigation project plan that is supposed to strengthen 83 miles of shoreline and would calm fears in communities such as Mastic Beach that a storm surge would torpedo through unabated like it did during Sandy. The hurricane has overcome the plan’s biggest hurdle—funding—but rebuilding barrier island dunes is not slated to start until January, with raising thousands of South Shore homes on stilts to come later.Biondi says he walks into his office every day hoping to find a letter or a voicemail telling him money is on its way.“I never thought here in the United States people would still be waiting, a year later,” he adds.But the state insists projects are in the works.In September, 21 communities from South Valley Stream to Mastic Beach began meetings under the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which puts the onus on these towns and villages to come up with their own unique plans to strengthen their communities. Their plans have to be submitted by April 2014 in order to receive a slice of the $750 million Gov. Andrew Cuomo has allocated for the projects.Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer says the town received federal aid for emergency work done during and after Sandy, but acknowledges that homeowners will have to hold on a little longer until New York Rising is completed.“[We] still have a number of people who are not home who don’t have a clear answer as to how they’re going to get home,” he says. “That’s my biggest concern. We need these programs to move quicker.”According to state data, $266,148,756 in public assistance funding from the federal aid package has been dispersed to LI, though mostly for emergency work following the storm. Nassau County says residents have received $323,768,556 for individual assistance.“Nassau County continues to recover and rebuild from the damaging impact of Hurricane Sandy,” Mangano said in a statement to the Press. “We continue to fight to get residents the Federal dollars they need to rebuild their lives.”Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was not made available for comment. The county also didn’t respond to a list of questions for this story.Several residents still struggling to get back on their feet put the blame on the federal government. They say local officials are handcuffed and can only do so much.“It’s still not done and it’s a year,” Lindenhurst-native Joan Ensulo says of repairs to her home because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declined her application for funding. “And I’m not half as bad as half of all these people with children who are not in their homes and homes who had to be lifted.”Bayville is the only North Shore village among the 21 communities under New York Rising. Its mayor, Doug Watson, is doing what he can to help residents in the meantime, but he understands why residents are upset.“We are forging ahead at the speed of government,” he says, with a hint of sarcasm. CATASTROPHIC FAILURELocal government hasn’t been taken off the hook entirely.In Nassau, residents living near the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant have derided lawmakers for delaying most of the $722 million in borrowing requested by Mangano—$262 million of that has been approved—after the Sandy storm surge led to a catastrophic failure at the plant, spewing sewage into streets, waterways and homes.A man who lives near the plant blasted the 19-member legislature at a recent meeting, accusing them of playing politics with residents’ lives, and admitting to “foolishly” believing lawmakers would come to a deal that would fix the plant and finally put an end to what he called “Sunday smell”—an obnoxious odor which disappeared last summer but returned after Sandy.“For God’s sake, fix my problem,” he said, adding, “Sooner or later your going to kill this community, [and] you’re going to have a lynch mob on your hands.”Republicans have a 10-9 majority in the county legislature, but need a supermajority of 13 votes to approve borrowing. Democrats have argued for more oversight before approving hundreds of millions of dollars that would add to the county’s mounting debt load. FEMA is expected to pick up the tab but only after the county already borrows the money for the repairs.“After investing $70 million in upgrades to the plants, Hurricane Sandy created further damage,” Mangano said in a statement. “The time is now for Democrat legislators to lay politics aside and partner with me in creating a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly facility that protects both our residents and local waterways.”Bay Park isn’t the only major facility that suffered critical damage during the storm.Long Beach Medical Center is the last remaining major hospitality yet to reopen since Sandy. The entire basement—basically the center of the hospital’s operating system—suffered major flooding and the hospital has yet to recover.“There wasn’t anything you needed to run a hospital that probably wasn’t included in the basement,” says LBMC spokeswoman Sharon Player.Thousands living on the barrier island have signed a petition pleading with the state to step in to get the hospital back and running, fearful of what could happen without an emergency facility on the island.But it appears the 162-bed hospital—down from 200 at its peak—was in dire straights economically even before the storm, making the medical center a good candidate to merge with another facility on the South Shore, possibly South Nassau Community Hospital.“The medical center had been losing money, we are a hospital that serves a lot of Medicare and Medicaid patients,” Player says. “We don’t look at it as a bad eye to be serving people who are struggling.”Player declined to go into detail regarding a potential merger, citing a non-disclosure agreement. LBMC lost $2 million in 2011, she notes. Figures for 2012 aren’t available because Sandy struck before the end of the year.Still, the LBMC has done what it can to continue providing treatment to residents, specifically in mental health because many suffered deep, emotional scars that came to the forefront in the months after the storm. Others also joined in the effort to aid Long Islanders battling inner demons.STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: Dozens of charities worked together after Hurricane Sandy to assist in recovery efforts. They held weekly meetings in this room inside a former former Sleepy’s warehouse to help those still struggling. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)Inner Struggle“The ongoing cost and the increased debt that’s coming for folks that were already struggling is really a story that’s not getting covered,” says Gwen O’Shea, CEO and president of Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, and who has also been leading efforts at the Long Island Volunteer Center, which just recently moved out of a cavernous warehouse in Bethpage that the furniture company Sleepy’s provided to her and dozens of other charities, for free. Mental health, she adds, is “falling under the radar…And we have serious concerns when the anniversary does hit, what are the implications going to be for people from a physical and mental health perspective?”“Can you imagine having three kids, working a full-time job, taking care of your elderly parent and trying to keep it all together for 10 months, 11 months?” she adds.Mental health experts point to the stress of rebuilding and the financial struggle that befell many Sandy survivors as evidence why mental health treatment is critical in preventing people from falling into a black hole that they’ll never climb out of.But some people may be too proud—especially former breadwinners, who never experienced a problem this devastating—to ask for help.“People don’t expect tragedy to happen,” says Robyn Berger, division director of Huntington-based Family Service League. “And when it does, it’s very hard to move forward without someone to help you through it, particularly if you’re somebody whose never needed help in the past.”Children, too, have also developed mental scars that require treatment, says Colleen Merlo, associate director of the Mental Health Association. Some are even showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she says, adding that the slightest rainstorm can awaken horrific memories from last year.“Children’s mental health was severely impacted,” by the storm, notes Merlo, adding that she expects her phones to be flooded with more calls from concerned parents.The ongoing mental health crisis would be far more severe if it wasn’t for nonprofit organizations and other mental health treatment facilities that have gone door-to-door to check up on patients or lend a helping hand. A number of other groups, such as the Red Cross, The Health & Welfare Council, United Way of Long Island, and even charities from thousands of miles away have contributed in any way they can.“I think so many peoples lives…are back to normal, and unless you go—if you’re out on Long Beach, you could still see destruction,” says Bill Johnson, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief North American Mission Board project coordinator and volunteer, who came all the way from Kentucky to help and has been here ever since. “But in so many of these areas, like in Island Park, or in Freeport, if you go down by the water, you’ll see a roll-off there that people are still putting stuff in, but outwardly, it doesn’t look that bad. But when you start looking inside, there’s still so many people that’s not back together.”FIGHT ONA camera is slung over Lance Walker’s neck as he makes his way through a crowd of people outside Babylon Town Hall on Sept. 28. He cuts through, holding signs declaring “Stop FEMA Now!” and asking, “Where is our money?”Walker, one of the subjects of the Press’ Sandy coverage last year, was smiling as he walked—a hopeful glow radiating around him.Last time we spoke, Walker was standing outside his Lindenhurst home, which just had been ravaged by Sandy’s storm surge. His eyes welled with tears as he grabbed a hold of his children, wondering if he’d ever be able to watch home videos of his kids growing up. It turned out he wouldn’t, the saltwater took care of that.But things are improving. Walker is back in his home after living in two apartments since the storm, and his home is 80-percent recovered, he says proudly.Lance Walker, a father and husband from Lindenhurst, was reduced to tears last year when we talked to him outside his home. A year later, he’s more hopeful that things will get better. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)“It’s been a long road but we’ve come a long way,” Walker says.As he continues to rebuild his Shore Road home, Walker admits that he’s in a better place than immediately after the storm. He has more hope because of the support of total strangers when he was at his worst.“After the storm you realize how good people were,” he says. “I walked around for a couple of days without any shoes on, and somebody heard about it, and I had six pairs of brand new shoes…I’m actually more hopeful now.”The year of torture that thousands on Long Island lived through has many people feeling less optimistic about the future. Things won’t get better until insurance companies unload more money and federal aid dollars start trickling down. Much of Long Island is still a broken puzzle board, with pieces strewn about. But there is hope.Walker, who has been to hell and back, is moving forward with newfound resilience that has him more hopeful than ever.“[Sandy] does still exist,” he says. “It’s a long process but we’re all learning from it. We’re meeting new friends. We’re finding out that there are people who really care and besides all the bureaucracy, we’ll get through it.”“Don’t walk away,” he adds, “don’t give up, just hang in there, it’s worth it. It’s worth it.”
In the first six months, Lošinj recorded very good tourist results, thus achieving a total of 491.700 overnight stays and 89.500 arrivals with an index of an increase in overnight stays of 19%, and arrivals of 20% compared to the previous 2016.The largest increase in guests was recorded in the segment of hotel accommodation, 19%, and the offer of Lošinj hotels was enjoyed by as many as 35.500 guests who spent 155.000 nights. ”We are extremely pleased with the tourist results so far, especially because this year we have invested a lot of effort to organize numerous events for the needs of all our guests. We expect even better results in the coming months and the continuation of positive indicators of a successful tourist year so far, said the president of the Tourist Board of the City of Mali Lošinj, Ana Kučić.After the excellent results achieved in the first six months, the island of vitality with the organization of numerous events continues to successfully navigate the tourist year.
APTN National NewsOttawa police are looking for an Inuk woman and her five-week-old son. The two have been missing since Friday and police say her family is concerned for their well-being.Madeline Atagootak, 20, and her son Elijah were reported missing Friday evening. She was last seen in the area of Somerset Street East around noon.Atagootak is described as 5’2″ (157 cm), 115lbs (52 kg) with brown hair past her shoulders. There was no clothing description available.If you know where Madeline and Elijah currently are, please immediately contact Ottawa police dispatch at 613-230-6211.If you have information that could assist investigators, but do not know where he is currently, please contact the Missing Persons Unit 613-236-1222, ext. 2355 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, daily.Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.