Governor Tom Wolf Announces Disaster Assistance Approved for Victims of Severe Storms in Fayette County

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Tom Wolf Announces Disaster Assistance Approved for Victims of Severe Storms in Fayette County September 20, 2016center_img Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request to declare Fayette County a disaster area after severe storms and flooding caused significant damage to homes and businesses on Aug. 28.“After visiting Fayette County in the week after storm, I know first-hand how devastating this storm was for many residents,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “In addition to the state resources provided by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies, this federal assistance should provide the help needed for these communities to rebuild and residents to recover.”Citizens in Fayette County, as well as neighboring Pennsylvania counties Greene, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.After the storms, staff from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, along with local and SBA officials, conducted damage assessments within Fayette County. The governor used the damage assessment results to support his assistance request to the SBA.Low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. SBA regulations permit loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged or destroyed buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial qualifications.The SBA has established a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at Fayette EMS, 301 S. Arch St., Connellsville, PA 15425. The center will be open the following dates and times:Opening:  Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.Hours:     Weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Closed:     Sunday, Sept. 25Closing:    Thursday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the disaster loan outreach center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by e-mailing [email protected] applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 21, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 20, 2017.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

BWI, MVTC Top NHA Housing Design Competition

first_imgNHA, Partners Present cash award to BWI and MVTC The National Housing Authority (NHA) with support from its international partners, Habitat for Humanity International (HfHI) and Cities Alliance (CA) last Wednesday, November 1, presented cash awards of L$100,000 to the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) and L$50,000 to the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC).The two schools emerged as winner and runner-up (respectively) of the Innovative Housing Design Competition held on September 27, at the official launch of the Slum Upgrading Unit of the NHA. In addition to the cash prizes, BWI also received L$40,000 while MVTC received L$30,000 to cover preparation cost for their participation.During the presentation, Mr. Es-Samir Bropleh, Coordinator of the newly established Slum Upgrading Unit of the National Housing Authority, thanked the students for bringing pride to their respective institutions and encouraged them to always take their lessons seriously.Mr. Bropleh used the occasion to inform the public that the Slum Up-grading Unit of the NHA was established as a specialized unit to work with slum dwellers and other partners in addressing the housing needs of slum dwellers, especially around Monrovia.According to him, the Innovative Housing Design Competition was organized to demonstrate to the Government of Liberia, public sector, financial institutions as well as the slum dwellers about the business opportunities that exist in investing in affordable housing for slum dwellers.Mr. Bropleh said 70% of Monrovia’s population lives in slums under devastating housing conditions and it was now time for practical actions to be taken to address the problem. He, therefore, thanked Habitat for Humanity International and Cities Alliance for the level of support aimed at improving the housing needs of slum dwellers.Habitat for Humanity International’s Chief of Party, Mr. Mathew Ndote Peter, emphasized that his organization is part of the Liberia Country Program which is a five year Monrovia City renewal initiative aimed at addressing the overwhelming slum conditions of the city of Monrovia.According to him, the program is being funded by Comic Relief through Cities Alliance and is currently implementing eight projects through several local and international partners.Habitat for Humanity International’s role under the program is to facilitate the implementation of practical solutions to shelter challenges identified during recent assessments which led to the development of a comprehensive slum upgrading and affordable housing framework.Habitat for Humanity International is, therefore, working along with the National Housing Authority through its Slum Upgrading Unit as well as financial service providers, private sector firms, development partners and communities for the implementation of its projects under the Monrovia City Program.Mr. Ndote expressed his organization’s appreciation for the good partnership and leadership demonstrated by NHA in prioritizing low-income households through the establishment of a Slum Upgrading Unit.He also cited the Innovative Housing Design Competition as the first step in bringing together housing value chain actors and commended NHA, the administrations and students of the two Vocational Training Institutions for their participation.In response, Mr. Harry Tarnue, Principal of BWI and Mr. Wilfred S.K. Payne, Director of MVTC, thanked both the NHA and Habitat for Humanity International for creating the platform for their students to showcase their skills. The two administrators further expressed their gratitude for the cash prizes and pleaded with NHA and Habitat for Humanity International for partnership and collaboration.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Prison raid sparks unrest

first_imgJERICHO, West Bank – Israeli troops using tanks, helicopters and bulldozers pounded a Palestinian-run prison in the West Bank on Tuesday to seize a Palestinian militant leader and his accomplices in the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister. The dramatic 10-hour standoff ignited an unprecedented spasm of violence against foreigners across the Palestinian areas. Aid workers, teachers and journalists took refuge at Palestinian security headquarters in Gaza as militants attacked offices linked to the U.S. and Europe, burning cars and torching the British Council building in Gaza City. Gunmen kidnapped at least 10 foreigners, including an American professor who was held at an abandoned cemetery; after nightfall, three were still in captivity – two French citizens and a South Korean journalist. It was the most widespread violence since Hamas militants swept Palestinian parliamentary elections Jan. 25 – and could foreshadow broader confrontations between Israel and the Palestinians. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Angry Palestinians blamed the British and Americans for the raid: British monitors left the jail 20 minutes before the Israelis arrived Tuesday morning, citing concerns for their own safety. Three Palestinians were killed in the assault. Israel denied coordinating the attack with the U.S. or Britain. It said recent statements by Palestinian officials and Hamas leaders of plans to release its most-wanted prisoners, combined with the withdrawal of the monitors, forced it to act. The assault on the jail came amid a breakdown in a 4-year-old deal among the Palestinians, Israel, the United States and Britain over the guarding of the prisoners, and it underscored the collapse of relations between Israel and the Palestinians since Hamas’ victory at the polls. British and American officials said they had complained repeatedly to the Palestinians about security conditions at the prison and threatened in a letter last week – a copy of which was sent to Israel – to remove their monitoring teams if things did not improve. By chance, the U.S. team was not on duty Tuesday, the State Department said. “The monitors worked on a rotation basis and the Americans did not happen to be on this morning,” said spokesman Tom Casey. Another State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli, said the United States did not know of the raid in advance. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, cutting short a European trip to deal with the crisis, blamed the Americans and the British for violating the agreement by withdrawing the monitors without telling him. Incoming Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, called the raid “a dangerous escalation against the Palestinian leaders and freedom fighters.” Other Palestinians condemned the prison siege as a campaign stunt by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just two weeks before Israeli elections. Israel was targeting Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Ahmed Saadat, who ordered the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001, and several other militants accused of carrying out the killing. Saadat was elected to the Palestinian legislature in January. “There were clear indications these killers would be set free,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. “We had to act to make sure these killers would stay under lock and key.” The troops smashed down walls with bulldozers and shelled its walls. Dozens of prisoners and Palestinian police were pulled out of the building in their underwear and searched and blindfolded by Israeli troops. The six wanted prisoners, who insisted to Arab media that they would not be taken alive, were among the last to be taken. The gray-haired Saadat, wearing a light-color jacket, left the prison in a line with his peers. He looked down and did not raise his arms in surrender, as many of the other prisoners had done throughout the day. In addition to the five men implicated in Zeevi’s slaying, Israel seized Fuad Shobaki, the mastermind of an illegal weapons shipment to the Palestinian Authority several years ago, and 15 other militants, said Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, the chief of Israel’s central command. Israeli government spokesman Raanan Gissin said the men would be put on trial. Zeevi’s son, Palmach, said his father “would have said this is the right thing to do.” The Popular Front, or PFLP, has claimed responsibility for the assassination of his father, who advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israeli land. One policeman standing near the gate was killed in the shootout and a prisoner was also killed, security officials said. A third Palestinian was fatally wounded, the army said. Explosions shook the prison throughout the day as Israeli tanks fired shells at the walls, and thick smoke filled the sky. Helicopters flew overhead. Youths in the town threw rocks at the Israeli soldiers and protesters placed burning tires in the roads. The six wanted men were being held at the jail under the supervision of British and American wardens in accordance with a deal worked out between President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in April 2002. Israeli hard-liners chafed at the deal, believing it allowed an assassin to escape justice; Palestinians disliked having to jail a popular militant leader. Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher said the March 28 Israeli elections were one of the reasons behind the raid, but the main catalyst was concern that Hamas would free Saadat. Soon after the Palestinian election, Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal said the group planned to release him. On March 7, Abbas said he was willing to release Saadat, but only if the PFLP accepted responsibility for his fate. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said security conditions at the prison were so bad that the observers had to work from the roof rather than the inside of the prison. Guards were allowing prisoners to use mobile phones in violation of the agreement and failing to enforce rules limiting visitors and phone calls, he said. In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Palestinians had been repeatedly informed of the U.S. and British concerns about conditions at the jail. In New York, the U.N. Security Council expressed serious concern about the upsurge in violence and sought the release of the three remaining foreigners. “Israel’s violent incursion – as well as the Palestinian actions carried out in response – risk destabilizing even further the already tense situation in the Middle East,” Ibrahim Gambari, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council in an emergency meeting. About 15,000 Palestinians, led by dozens of gunmen firing in the air, marched through Gaza City chanting anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans Tuesday night. Earlier, about 300 demonstrators broke into the European Commission building and raised the PFLP flag on the roof. They also torched the evacuated British council offices and burned the cars of employees there. Gunmen also briefly stormed the offices of AMIDEAST, a private organization that provides English classes and testing services. In Gaza, gunmen went from room to room in hotels, looking for foreigners. By midafternoon, they had taken a Swiss Red Cross worker, two Australian teachers, two French medical workers and three journalists – one French and two South Korean, Palestinian and foreign officials said. Also kidnapped were a Canadian aid worker and American professor Douglas Johnson at the American University in the West Bank town of Jenin. Johnson, who teaches English, said he was unharmed and understood his abductors’ actions. “They are angry over what is going on in Jericho. I feel sympathy with them,” he told an Associated Press reporter at the cemetery. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more