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3 Marshalltown city employees have COVID-19 | News, Sports, Jobs

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Three Marshalltown employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The city is not releasing the names or information about the employees or their roles because of employee privacy issues.

Marshalltown has taken steps to deep clean office areas and workspaces to ensure the continued health and safety of its workforce.

The city is having employees telecommute if possible and applying social distancing in all areas of operations.

“We recognize that many functions of local government are essential, and we are listening to our team members to determine the safest way to continue operations during this time period,” said City Administrator Jessica Kinser

In a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have tested positive as well as their families.”

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Contact Thomas Nelson at (641)753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com




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McKinley announces $2M for airports | News, Sports, Jobs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier this week, U.S. Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E., R-W.Va., announced the North Central West Virginia Airport in Harrison County received an award of $2 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“The North Central West Virginia Airport is a hub of growth and is helping attract aerospace jobs to diversify our economy. This funding will help support and expand its mission. It will allow the airport to renovate facilities, create jobs and spur additional private sector investment. This is great news for the entire North Central West Virginia region,” said McKinley.

This grant funding will help renovate airport facilities in order to support the growth of the region’s critical aerospace sector. The project, to be matched with $499,000 in local funds, is expected to create 150 jobs, protect 400 jobs, and generate $35 million in private investment.

The North Central West Virginia Airport project was one of four across West Virginia to be funded, totaling $10.1 million.

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Live Coronavirus News: Global Tracker

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The Department of Health and Social Care said it was unable to comment on the specifics of the case because of continuing legal proceedings but said there was a “robust” process in place to ensure that all orders of personal protective equipment are of high quality and meet strict safety standards.

Ayanda Capital, the supplier of the masks, was not immediately available for comment but told the BBC that the equipment met all the specifications that the government had set out.

In the early stages of the pandemic, the government came under fierce criticism over shortages of personal protective equipment, particularly respirator masks that protect health workers from inhaling harmful materials.

“Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the front line,” a government spokesman said, adding, “Over 2.4 billion items have been delivered, and more than 30 billion have been ordered from U.K.-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply, which meets the needs of health and social care staff both now and in the future.”

In other news from around the world:

  • Italy threatened to suspend Ryanair flights, saying the low-cost Irish carrier has repeatedly violated safety measures imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus. In an email, the company called the accusations by the Italian authority “factually incorrect,” and said it fully complied with the measures set out by the Italian government.

  • In Britain, more than nine million people have been furloughed, or 29 percent of the country’s work force, and 2.8 million have filed unemployment claims since the pandemic began. Some fields, such as hospitality and live entertainment, seem especially uncertain, leaving some people in a quandary: Wait for business and employment to pick up, or leave behind a job and career and try something new?

  • France and Germany have each recorded a higher number of daily new coronavirus cases this week than either country has seen in months. France reported 1,695 new cases on Wednesday, and Germany on Thursday reported more than 1,000. In France, the 1,242 daily average of cases since the beginning of August has almost reached the level of infections in the first week of May, when the country was still under lockdown.

  • A Canadian pastor who contracted the virus in Myanmar after preaching that Christians were immune to it was sentenced to three months of prison with hard labor on Thursday for violating the country’s strict rule against large gatherings. The Myanmar-born preacher, David Lah, was found guilty of attending a 27-day Christian gathering in Yangon, the country’s largest city, that began in March and is blamed for spreading the virus to around 70 people.

  • Test results for North Korea’s first suspected case were “inconclusive,” a World Health Organization official said Thursday. The case has triggered quarantine orders for more than 3,600 people.

Reporting was contributed by Geneva Abdul, Emily Bobrow, Luke Broadwater, Emma Bubola, Julia Calderone, Benedict Carey, Niraj Chokshi, Emily Cochrane, Patricia Cohen, Melissa Eddy, Thomas Erdbrink, Jacey Fortin, Sheera Frenkel, Maggie Haberman, Cecilia Kang, Annie Karni, David Leonhardt, Patrick J. Lyons, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Constant Méheut, Sarah Mervosh, Saw Nang, Richard C. Paddock, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Pranshu Verma, Neil Vigdor, Katherine J. Wu, Ceylan Yeginsu, Elaine Yu and Karen Zraick.

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TVA rescinds decision to outsource technology jobs

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NASHVILLE — Just days after President Donald Trump criticized the Tennessee Valley Authority for hiring foreign workers, the federally owned energy corporation announced Wednesday it was rescinding a decision to lay off its in-house technology workers.

The authority had been planning on replacing those workers with contractors who rely heavily on foreign workers under the H1-B visa program for highly skilled workers. Yet on Monday, Trump fired TVA chairman Skip Thompson on Monday and threatened to remove other board members if they continued to hire foreign labour.

By Thursday, interim TVA Board Chair John Ryder and TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash met with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to discuss the preservation of U.S. jobs.

“We had a positive meeting with the White House and wholeheartedly agree with the Administration’s direction on jobs,” Ryder said in a statement. “We expressed that our IT restructuring process was faulty and that we have changed direction so that we can ensure American jobs are protected.”

TVA had previously announced it would outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. TVA’s action would have caused more than 200 highly skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to foreign workers hired on temporary work visas, according to the White House.

However, under a newly signed executive order, Trump has since required all federal agencies to complete an internal audit to prove they are not replacing qualified American workers with people from other countries

TVA officials said in a news release that it would review the “full scope” of its contract companies to ensure compliance with Trump’s new order.

The TVA was created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression. The region covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky as well as small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press



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