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Progress for water service in Belmont County announced | News, Sports, Jobs



ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County is making progress in upgrading water service and providing service to those in need.

The Belmont County Board of Commissioners recently announced another development in upgrading its water system — a purchase agreement for property along the Ohio River in the village of Bellaire. The 2.5-acre lot is just south of Muxie Distributing on Guernsey Street. The cost is $1.75 million.

“The county has identified this site as the site for the new water treatment plant,” Commissioner J.P. Dutton said.

Three years ago, the county announced a U.S. Department of Agriculture water package, a $60.5 million investment including a $45.5 million direct loan combined with a nearly $15 million grant through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program, to modernize and improve the water system. The loan has a 40-year term at 2.3 percent interest.

“This is the next step in the process,” Dutton said. “It is the biggest project listed in our water agreement.”

He added that while the current water treatment plant is still producing quality water, it is nearing the end of its useful life and more demands are expected, such as St. Clairsville’s plan to discontinue using surface water from reservoirs and instead purchase water from Belmont County.

County Water and Sanitary Sewer Director Kelly Porter and A.C. Wiethe of Bel-O-Mar Regional Council also spoke about the planned work.

“Definitely a critical infrastructure project,” Wiethe said.

Dutton said officials hope to break ground in 2021.

“We want to try to find efficient ways to try to match up with other existing water systems and make sure that we’re all working together as much as possible,” Dutton said.

Michael Biaconi, a former commissioner and current Pease Township trustee and Democrat candidate for commissioner, attended the commission meeting Wednesday and spoke against the purchase of the site. He objected to the county spending more than $1.7 million for the riverfront property, saying it would be better suited to a different type of private development.

“That ground is prime for development for taxpayer jobs and property tax,” he commented afterward.

Bianconi said the site has “everything for jobs,” including access to transportation by river, rail and interstate highway. He suggested that property near the current treatment plant would be better suited for a new plant.

Meanwhile, Wiethe and the commissioners also announced water service will be provided to a section of road and residences that have been without service for more than 60 years. State funding was approved for Otto Road off Mount Victory Road in Pultney Township.

Dutton said there are several such areas without service in Belmont County, and obtaining funding is difficult.

Wiethe said the money will be available in the next month. The first step will be an environmental review. The goal is to have the design work completed and a permit to install and to bid the work out in winter or spring, with construction in 2021.

“It’s definitely a critical project, as anyone who doesn’t have potable water that you’ve got to haul out to your house (can say),” Wiethe said. He commended the commissioners for their efforts in securing funding. “It’s a pretty large project, almost $300,000.”

“It was a longshot, but not only did the project get funded, it got fully funded,” Dutton said. “The entire loan was $280,000. … The complete funding came through.”

Jim Morrison, a resident of Otto Road who has frequently spoken at commission meetings on behalf of the residents and who has reported on their efforts to contact state and county agencies and secure funding, was visibly touched by the news.

“This is one of those days you can’t be thankful enough,” he said. “So many people helped you achieve the things you needed to do. … The project itself is a 60-year project. It took me 27 years to get (to this point). … We didn’t have any Plan B to go to. We were already at Plan Z.”

He thanked the commissioners, Bel-O-Mar, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Ohio Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, and others.

“This is just a day that I’ll never forget,” he said, anticipating bringing the news to residents. “It’s changed our whole lifestyle. You’ve given us a new life. … I want to thank you for the seven families that live out there also.”

Morrison related the issues they have had, including collecting and treating rainwater for his water needs.

Pultney Township Trustee Frank Shaffer also said the improvements are necessary and appreciated.

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Faculty shares excitement for 2020-2021 school year | News, Sports, Jobs




WILLIAMSTOWN – With the completion of the new Williamstown Elementary School and new additions to Williamstown Middle/High School, many educators are looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year.

The new elementary school, located at 430 Caroline Ave., has been under construction for over two years on the site of the former Fenton Art Glass company.

A ribbon cutting was held on Sept. 1 to officially dedicate the new school.

Principal Heather Bretthauer said teachers and staff have been in the building over the past month getting rooms and materials ready for students.

“Since the day I said they could come in, they have been here every day since,” she said. “They have dedicated themselves to making sure this place feels like a home.

“Everyone had a month and a half to get ready and the school looks absolutely beautiful.”

Many of the teachers in the building talked about having their rooms ready. Many were excited about having new technology available to them.

Bretthauer said they were going to be an “Apple school” with Apple computers and technology.

Second-grade teacher Michelle Sauro said so many of the teachers and staff have been impressed with the building, its layout and design. There is a huge gym, a huge library and a lot of space.

Each classroom has an Apple TV and the kids have iPads which can be utilized together.

“It is not the old chalkboard you use to have,” Sauro said. “It is wonderful.

“There are a lot of resources for the kids to utilize. With all the new technology we have, the kids will really benefit from it.”

She said all of the teachers are excited about getting everything organized and having a lot of new things available for the students.

“We love it,” Sauro said “All of the kids have a locker, everyone has their own personal space and everything is brand new.”

The building also fits well into the community.

“It looks good in the community and will be good for the community,” Sauro said.

Even with the new school, educators and students are still facing many of the same challenges being faced across the country with preparing for school during the pandemic, said Dave Morris, fifth grade teacher.

“I think we are in good shape and we are anxious for the kids to get back and get back as to as close to normal as we possibly can,” he said. “It is a beautiful building obviously.

“We are excited to be here.”

All the new technology will enable teachers to do a lot at school or at home or both, Morris said.

All of grade levels are grouped together so teachers can better function as a team.

“We have a lot of room here so we can do outdoor learning as well,” Morris said. “There is a lot we can do here that we were limited in what we could do at the old school.”

Teachers came in on their own time to get things ready, said fifth grade teacher Diana Leo.

Due to health concerns, the water fountains will be turned off and kids will have a water bottle refilling station which many are excited about, she said.

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Lufthansa to cut more jobs as it loses €500m a month




MONTREAL: When Megyn Thompson landed her dream job as a commercial pilot last year, she was one of thousands being recruited globally to boost the number of women in the cockpit and meet record pilot demand.

Now an industry-wide campaign to recruit more female aviators is under threat, dealing a blow to efforts to overhaul the male-dominated airline sector as the coronavirus crisis transforms a shortage into a pilot surplus. 

In the United States alone, the top two airlines are set to furlough more than 3,000 pilots when government stimulus expires this month, and a disproportionate number of those are women.

Under layoff agreements between airlines and unions, junior pilots lose their jobs before senior ones, regardless of gender, race or age.

These “Last In, First Out” labor deals at many Western airlines mean the most recent hires are the first to go.

And those new hires include a higher percentage of women than in the past, the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISWAP) said.

Thompson, who flies with a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, is among at least 600 female pilots in the United States who will be furloughed on Oct. 1 unless there is more government payroll aid or last-minute union deals.

Thompson, 32, said her low seniority ranking puts her “smack-dab in the middle” of a furlough at American’s PSA affiliate, which expects to cut about 35 percent of its pilots.

“If you go back 40 years ago it was a man’s world through and through, so there are not a lot of women at the top who are protected from this furlough,” said Thompson, who decided not to have biological children as she built flying hours for her license.

“PSA is not letting (me) Megyn go because they don’t like her. It’s zero to do with that and 100 percent to do with, if you’re the last in, you’re the first out.”

Now the mother of three adopted children is applying for jobs at Amazon, Kellogg and PepsiCo.

Before the crisis, global air travel was growing at a record 5 percent a year, generating a need for 804,000 pilots over the next 20 years, based on Boeing Co. estimates. The need for more pilots had pushed female recruitment to the top of the agenda.

But a shattered post-COVID industry does not expect traffic to regain 2019 levels and start growing again before 2024.

“This year we were meant to launch a great big campaign which we have just put on hold because of what has happened,” said Australian pilot Davida Forshaw, who heads education and outreach at ISWAP.

Despite the female recruitment campaign, just 5.3 percent of airline pilots globally were women before the coronavirus crisis, ISWAP data shows. That percentage is set to drop again as airlines carry out furlough plans, the group predicts.

At American and Delta Air Lines, women make up around 5.2 percent of the combined pilot population of about 27,800 and 6.7 percent of the 3,645 pilots whom those airlines expect to furlough, according to numbers provided by their main pilot unions.

American Airlines declined to comment directly on the issue, but a spokesman said the union data implied that the proportion of female pilots would slip post-furloughs to 4.9 from 5.1 percent.

Delta said it was in discussions with unions on pilot departures but did not give a breakdown by gender.

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Got my first job! Working at Radical Partners | FIU News




Name: Luisana Zambrano Diaz

Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela

Degree/Major: International relations, minor in political science and certificate in public policy. Graduated with the Global Learning Medallion

Where are you working? Title? Radical Partners, associate

How did you get your job? A really good friend encouraged me to apply, several interviews and a lot a patience. Best decision ever!!

What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? My greatest fear going into my first job was that I was not going to be able to find it in the field that I wanted it: social impact. So what I did during my application process was to be very intentional about opportunities that I was applying to. I made sure to showcase the work that I did while I was studying as a student assistant, my internship experiences and academic courses, and how it tied back to my future job.

What surprised you the most about your first job? There is so much more to learn. The social impact field is always evolving. I love how much I am learning everyday with the team and by supporting leaders in our community.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Don’t give up!! And I mean it. If there is a job that you want to get, be intentional about it. Apply to the ones that you would love to get, connect with your friends and network, ask for help, and honestly just do it! What is the best that can happen?

What does a day on the job look like? I support the organization in different programs such as the Strategic Planning Summit, Vote Miami, and different consultancy projects. When I am not in a meeting with the team learning about each other and supporting the programs, I can be catching up with work, designing presentations for the programs, and helping on what is needed.

How does your job connect back to your coursework? I would say it ties back to everything I did during my time at FIU. From my classes at the Honors College that ignited my passion for social entrepreneurship, social impact and community development to my job as a student assistant at StartUP FIU, where I had the opportunity to put into practice everything that I had learned about social impact; also Global Learning pushed me to become an active global citizen and be involved in the community, and all the extracurricular activities that I was a part of helped me to develop my leadership skills (Venezuelan Student Alliance, Student Government Association, and Model UN).

How was your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? It was hard, I am not going to lie. Right after I graduated in Fall 2019, I took an internship opportunity with the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. During that time, I learned so much and had so much support from the internship program and FIU in DC! However, my time in D.C. was not conventional as everyone else’s (COVID happened!) My internship transitioned to fully remote and right after my internship ended it took me about two months to find a job. Nonetheless, since I started to work at Radical Partners, I’ve been able to balance my time better, take time for myself, exercise a few times a week and catch up with a lot of readings!  

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? Getting to talk with community members and also see how the social impact ecosystem is growing in Miami. I love seeing the many good things our community leaders are doing here in our city; and, honestly, I get to do what I am passionate about every day! I can totally relate to that quote that says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,”

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