Ohio City Replaces Columbus Day With Election Day As A Holiday : NPR

April 9, 2019

Commissioners in Sandusky, Ohio, have voted to make Election Day a city holiday, in place of Columbus Day. Sandusky resident Moses Croom is seen here voting at a polling station at a local library in November 2008.

Jason Werling/Sandusky Register

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Commissioners in Sandusky, Ohio, have voted to make Election Day a city holiday, in place of Columbus Day. Sandusky resident Moses Croom is seen here voting at a polling station at a local library in November 2008.

Sandusky, Ohio, is a small city on the shores of Lake Erie. It’s best known among Midwesterners as the home of Cedar Point, an amusement park famed for its abundance of roller coasters.

But last week city leaders took steps that could make Sandusky known as a leader of democracy, too: They declared Election Day a paid holiday – by swapping out Columbus Day.

“A lot’s happened in the last three years that had us thinking a lot about voter access and democracy, and so we thought it was a really natural switch,” Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser tells NPR. The move was first reported by the Sandusky Register.

In a national political climate where so much is fiercely contentious, was the holiday swap really as easy as that?

Wobser says it was, and it wasn’t.

In 2014 negotiations with the unions that represent police, firefighters, and municipal workers, the city suggested dropping Columbus Day, but giving up a paid holiday was a non-starter, Wobser says. So when negotiations for 2019-2021 started up last year, the city had a new proposal: replacing Columbus Day with Election Day.

The unions agreed.

“Participation in the government at all levels is essential for everyone,” says Ed Dayringer, president of Local 1519 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 97 of the city’s employees. He’s also an engineering technician with the city. “As a city, we want to ensure to give our people the opportunity to get out and vote,” he tells NPR.

The biggest sticking point in the negotiations was that most people would rather have a three-day weekend than a Tuesday off. But after talking through the larger civic purpose behind the change, all parties agreed to it.

After that, it was just a matter of changing the legislation that governs observed holidays. “We did that with an emergency vote that took place and was passed unanimously on first reading at our last meeting,” Wobser says. “And ultimately we have gotten very little pushback about it.”

Police and firefighters will still work scheduled shifts and receive holiday pay for the hours they work, as they do on other official holidays.

“Our city’s growing and evolving with the times,” Dayringer says. “I think we have a lot of forward thinking here at the city, and that’s probably what sparked a lot of the change.”

Sandusky, with a population of about 26,000, is 69 percent white, 23 percent black, and 7 percent Hispanic or Latino. American Indians comprise only 0.4 percent of the city’s population, according to the Census Bureau.

There have been ongoing national conversations about the issues with honoring Christopher Columbus, a name that many have come to associate with the oppression of indigenous peoples. Indeed, a number of cities have renamed the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But Wobser isn’t aware of any other U.S. cities that have moved to stop observing Columbus Day and replace it with an Election Day holiday.

“One of the things that we really pride ourselves strongly on Sandusky, is we’re probably the only urban city in a few county area in this part of the state,” says Wobser. “And we want to be mindful of and prideful about our diversity in the city, and really kind of celebrate the diversity in the city. So we look at a variety of ways in which we can become more welcoming, and ultimately focus on that.”

He says the change was partly about addressing the challenges presented by Columbus Day, but also about embracing a chance to “think globally but act locally” to improve voter access on Election Day.

“We don’t have to wait necessarily for states or the federal government to make this change, but that ultimately cities can do it in a case by case basis,” he says. “And you never know — in a place like Ohio, which obviously can often be considered a swing state, if enough cities were to make a move like this, maybe that’s enough to tip the scales in an election one way or the other.”

The change so far only affects the Sandusky’s 250 city workers. Wobser calls it a small gesture, but an important one.

“This will make it a little easier for them to vote, and potentially participate in democracy in other ways on Election Day. But we’re very hopeful that the message that it sends will be contagious.”

Woman fired after video of her blocking man from entering his downtown loft goes viral

April 8, 2019

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The woman seen in a viral video confronting and blocking a St. Louis man from entering his downtown loft was fired from her job Sunday. 

Tribeca-STL, which says it is a minority-owned business, released a statement Sunday afternoon saying its owners were “disturbed” by the interaction in the video.

Raw: Video shows full interaction as woman blocks St. Louis man from entering his apartment

The company confirmed the woman in the video was an Tribeca-STL employee but the incident took place at her personal residence. 

Cellphone footage captured the confrontation between the two tenants showing the woman stopping a man from entering his downtown loft and demanding proof he lived there.

D’Arreion Toles

D’Arreion Toles was returning home from a late night at the office when a tenant who lived on the third floor of Elder Shirt Lofts created a roadblock. 

In the viral video, Toles can be heard telling the woman, “You are blocking me into my building. This is my building as well. So, I need you to get out of my way.”

The woman then begins to questions Toles by asking what unit he lives in. 

Toles showed a key fob in the video and moved past the woman, who News 4 will not name, before taking an elevator to the fourth floor.

In the video, the woman is seen following Toles to the front door of his loft. 

“Did this really just happen to me. It happened to me. I am really taken away by the moment,” said Toles reflecting on the incident.

His cellphone video shows the woman standing outside his door after he uses his key to enter his loft. 

“I was kind of blown away, shocked and like wow,” said Toles. “I am just glad I had my camera out. If I did not have my camera out, I feel it could have gone a totally different way.”

The video has over 2 million views and has been shared over 70,000 times. 

“I appreciate all of the love and support. Like I said, don’t respond negatively. Don’t go after the lady. Let her be at peace. Let her live her life,” added Toles.

News 4 buzzed the woman’s unit and also called numbers listed for her to get her side of the story, but she never answered.

“I am not mad at her. I am not upset with her. I am not going to go after her legally or anything like that. I wish her the best. I would still have a conversation with her,” said Toles. 

Toles told News 4 that police showed up at his loft but left without giving anyone a citation. 

The full statement released by Tribeca-STL can be read here: 

Tribeca-STL was recently shared a video containing a disturbing interaction that we believe is important to clarify. The video did involve one of our employees, but the event did NOT take place at Tribeca-STL and did NOT involve one of our tenants. The video is showing the employee in her private life at her own residence interacting with another person. The Tribeca-STL family is a minority-owned company that consists of employees and residents from many racial backgrounds. We are proud of this fact and do not and never will stand for racism or racial profiling at our company. After a review of the matter the employee has been terminated and is no longer with our Company. At Tribeca-STL we want all residents, guests and visitors to feel welcome, safe and respected. 


City passes proposal to remove Trump’s star from Hollywood Walk of Fame

April 7, 2019

West Hollywood okay’ed a proposal to remove Trump’s Hollywood star.

An electric atmosphere at Teesside Audi as new e-tron rolls into town – Smiles & Trials

April 6, 2019

Motoring fans on Teesside have been treated to one of the stand out car launches of 2019, as the new all-electric Audi e-tron was previewed at Teesside . 

The first fully electric model for the brand, the Audi e-tron is due to be released in April and is expected to set the standard for luxury electric vehicles, with features that will take the technology to the next stage of development. 

But before it does, Audi has been touring the country with the car, allowing motoring enthusiasts to get up close to what many consider to be the new challenger to the Jaguar I-PACE when it comes to today’s new breed of luxury EVs. 

A world class leading car in terms of build quality, The SUV provides a zero-emissions alternative to the likes of the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC and features a plethora of technological advancements. 

Among the more innovative features on the Launch Edition is the integration of two high-definition cameras in place of traditional door mirrors, adaptive air suspension, LED headlights and charging points on both sides.  

Placed under the passenger compartment, its 95kWh 36-cell battery system drives two electric motors that allow it to go from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds, with its 402bhp helping it to achieve a top speed 124mph. 

The combination of a classic Audi look and era defining technology certainly turned a few heads during the car’s visit to Teesside Audi, part of the Lookers group, with fans eager to voice their opinions. 

Teesside Audi customer Andrew, who has ordered the car himself, said: “I think the new e-tron looks great and better in real life than all the pictures I have previously seen as I have followed its progress through to launch. The styling clearly follows all the traditions of the Q series – which I am a great fan of. The rear design of the car I particularly like as it provides its own genuine character. I cannot wait to get my own!”  

Motor journalists have already heaped praise on the car for its practicality and classic Audi looks, while pointing out that it represents the perfect stepping stone for those unsure about the potential of electric motoring. 

Seamus Watson, Head of Business at Teesside Audi, said: “It’s been very exciting here at Teesside Audi. To get the chance to showcase what could turn out to be an era-defining car for Audi was a massive privilege. Our customers also appreciated the chance to see the car in person and had nothing but high praise to share with us. We can’t wait to welcome it into the showroom permanently once it’s launched officially.”  e-tron-inside-dealership-low-res

Police car, fish dealer truck in collision at Sorsogon City; policemen, truck passengers injured | BICOL TODAY

April 5, 2019

Police car, fish dealer truck in collision at Sorsogon City; policemen, truck passengers injured

Photo by Karl Lee / BICOLTODAY.COM

SORSOGON CITY – A police mobile car and an Isuzu dropside truck were involved in a collision resulting to injuries to the passengers at Crossing Baribag, Barangay Bibincahan, this city on 12:40 AM Wednesday, March 6, this year.

Aboard the police car were PO2 Larry Ranara, 30 y/o, a resident Brgy. Bibincahan, Sorsogon City, driver of Toyota Hi-lux patrol car bearing conduction sticker number A6 U306 (V1), with passengers identified as PO1 Manuel Bongat, 29 y/o, a resident of Brgy. San Isidro, Castilla, Sorsogon; and PO1 Ryan Madre, 30 y/o, a resident of Executive Village, Brgy. Tugos, Sorsogon City, all PNP personnel of Sorsogon CPS, Sorsogon PPO.

On board the Isuzu truck loaded with fish was Dante Pelantic, 56 y/o, a resident of Brgy. Culiat, Ligao City, driver of Isuzu dropside truck bearing plate number URI 491 (V2), with passenger Elmer Nuas Papica, 55 y/o, helper, a resident of Brgy. Banawan, Pioduran, Albay

According to police investigation, the police mobile car was travelling going to Sorsogon proper from Ziama Hotel, Brgy. Bibincahan, Sorsogon City after providing marshall/escort security to Supreme Court Officials, when upon reaching the place of accident was bumped on the left side by the incoming Isuzu truck, which was running on the opposite side.

As a result of the collision, both drivers and the passengers sustained injuries to their different parts of their bodies. The driver and passengers of the police vehicle were brought to Sorsogon Medical Mission Group (SMMG) Hospital, Brgy. Pangpang, Sorsogon City, while the driver and passenger of the Isuzu truck were rushed to Sorsogon Provincial Hospital, Brgy. Macabog, Sorsogon City for medical treatment. [BicolToday.com]

Photo by Karl Lee / BICOLTODAY.COM

Posted by BicolToday.com
on March 7, 2019. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines.
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Kate Spade Found Dead of Apparent Suicide in New York City Apartment

April 4, 2019

Kate Spade — the iconic designer who left her job at a fashion magazine and built a handbag company that grew into a multi-million-dollar brand — was found dead in her New York City apartment Tuesday morning of apparent suicide, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department confirmed. She was 55.

Police responded to Spade’s apartment around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Her death is still under investigation.

Born Kate Brosnahan in Kansas City, Mo., she launched Kate Spade New York in 1993, setting out to “design the perfect handbag” after working as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle. She and her husband, Andy Spade, built the company from the ground up, using his 401K savings to buy fabric and staying with friends in the early days when handbag boxes filled up their apartment, they told the in 1999.

The company has since expanding into a global lifestyle brand that includes home decor, clothing and shoes — in addition to the sleek, colorful handbags and accessories that formed the foundation of the company. “I don’t think you need to neglect the style of something that’s functional,” Kate Spade told TIME in 2004.

She and her husband sold their stake in the company in 2006. But a decade later, they returned to the fashion business. The couple launched a new line, Frances Valentine, and Kate Spade officially changed her name to Kate Valentine.

She is survived by her husband — who is the brother of actor David Spade — and her daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.

If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.