At federal hearing, community outrage over plan to abandon Exide battery plant

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 06: Portions of the Exide Technologies, lead-acid battery recycling plant located in Vernon are wrapped in white plastic even as a press conference with state and local elected leaders was held at Resurrection Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles to express their opposition to Exide's proposed bankruptcy settlement, specifically in regard to the option for Exide to fully abandon the facility in Vernon and its responsibility to clean the environmental damage it caused. Resurrection Church on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
The closed Exide Technologies lead-acid battery recycling plant in Vernon is partially enclosed in plastic to prevent the release of lead and other contaminants. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Federal authorities faced an outpouring of community opposition at a public hearing Tuesday over an Exide Technologies bankruptcy plan to abandon a shuttered Vernon battery recycling plant blamed for spreading lead contamination across southeast L.A. County.

The near-universal indignation came from dozens of members of the predominantly Latino communities surrounding the closed Exide Technologies facility. One person after another during the hours-long hearing blasted the proposal and urged authorities to reject it and pursue actions to hold the company accountable for its pollution.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency have agreed not to oppose the company’s plan, which is scheduled to be considered for approval at a bankruptcy court hearing Thursday.

“Accepting this terrible proposal would be

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Federal retirement and Social Security benefits to increase by 1.3 percent in January

The increase applies only to annuity benefits for retirees, not to the salaries of current federal employees. Retiree COLAs are set automatically by an inflation index whose annual count concluded with the announcement Tuesday of figures through September.

In contrast, current employees receive pay raises set through the annual government budget process. No decision has been reached regarding a January 2021 raise.

President Trump has recommended a 1 percent pay raise, while Congress so far has taken no position. If no figure is enacted into law by the end of the year, that amount will take effect automatically. Some members of Congress continue to advocate for increasing the figure to 3 percent to match the planned raise for military personnel.

For retirees, some COLA policies vary depending on which of the two main federal retirement systems applies to them.

All of those retired under the Civil Service Retirement System, applying

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Fair Haven Community Health Care ranked as a top 10 quality leader by federal agency

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — In this pandemic, it has never been more important for low-income neighborhoods to have access to good health care.

At the same time, Fair Haven Community Health Care (FHCHC) is earning national recognition for the work it is doing.

It is one of nearly 1,400 federally-qualified health centers. To get their funding, those centers are all required to send in a copious amount of information every year.

“The government crunches those numbers, and then in the summer, they come out and say these are the health centers that, out of the 1,400 nationwide, have done the best,” explained FHCHC CEO Dr. Suzanne Lagarde.

This summer, the center was recognized as being in the top 10 percentile for being a quality leader, and the top two percent in handling of behavioral health by the Health Resources & Services Administration.

The organization began in 1971, seeing just

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Does the Federal Health Information Privacy Law Protect President Trump?

Within one day, President Donald Trump announced his COVID diagnosis and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment. The flurry of events was stunning, confusing and triggered many questions. What was his prognosis? When was he last tested for COVID-19? What is his viral load?

The answers were elusive.

Picture the scene on Oct. 5. White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, flanked by other members of Trump’s medical team, met with reporters outside the hospital. But Conley would not disclose the results of the president’s lung scans and other vital information, invoking a federal law he said allows him to selectively provide intel on the president’s health.

“There are HIPAA rules and regulations that restrict me in sharing certain things for his safety and his own health,” he told the reporters.

The law he’s referring to, HIPAA, is

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Trump Administration Will Cease Federal Funding to Hospitals That Do Not Report COVID-19 Data | Top News

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will halt some federal funding to hospitals that do not comply with its requirements for reporting data on COVID-19, senior administration officials told reporters on a Tuesday call.

Starting Wednesday, hospitals will be given 14 weeks to provide daily reporting to HHS on COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as other information such as influenza cases and use of personal protective equipment, the officials said.

Hospitals that fail to comply will lose access to reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, federal insurance programs for seniors, the disabled, and people with low incomes, they said.

The data will help coordinate the federal government’s response to COVID-19, including helping allocate supplies of antiviral drug remdesivir, and distribute its stockpile of personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, said Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator.

HHS is requiring that hospitals provide

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Federal agency recognizes Fair Haven Community Health Care for excellence


NEW HAVEN — Fair Haven Community Health Care has been recognized as a “health center quality leader” by the Health Resources & Services Administration, according to a release.

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It is the fourth year in a row that Fair Haven Community Health Care has been recognized this way, according to the health center.

The Fair Haven center is the only health center in New Haven and one of only three in Connecticut to be “designated a 2020 Gold Award Health Center Quality Leader for best overall clinical performance,” the release noted.


Fair Haven ranked among the top 10 percent of health centers

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Maryland Food Bank criticizes Trump-signed letter in federal food boxes, but will distribute them anyway

The Maryland Food Bank and its partner organizations have given out 6.5 million pounds of produce, dairy, and meat to families in need through the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program since late May, on top of its usual donations.

But food bank officials are criticizing a new addition to the boxes this week, which they view as politically motivated. With a month to go before the election, President Donald Trump’s administration has begun requiring contractors to enclose a letter on White House letterhead, in English and Spanish, signed by Trump.

It touts the 50 million food boxes delivered to families across the country in the past four weeks and encourages hand-washing and good hygiene, staying home if you feel sick, protecting the elderly and other vulnerable people, practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering.

“As President, safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens is one of my highest

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Coal Executive Murray Files for Federal Benefits to Treat His Black Lung Disease

U.S. coal baron Robert Murray, whose company Murray Energy filed for bankruptcy last year, has applied for federal benefits to treat his black lung disease after opposing more stringent coal dust regulations for years, according to report by West Virginia public radio.

Murray, an ally of President Donald Trump, filed a claim with the Department of Labor seeking to access federal benefits to treat his disease, which is caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust, Ohio Valley ReSource – a National Public Radio affiliate, reported on Thursday.

Reuters could not independently confirm the report.

The news outlet said Murray wrote in his filing for benefits from the fund that he is heavily dependent on an oxygen tank and is “near death”. Murray said he is entitled to benefits after working in underground mines for 63 years.

Murray’s company was one of several coal companies that provided collateral to self-insure their

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Federal Prisons Will Let Inmates Have Visitors During Pandemic

The federal prison system “is committed to protecting the health and welfare of those individuals entrusted to our care, as well as our staff, their families, and the communities where we live and work,” the agency said in a statement.

Inmates and prison officials have said the inability of inmates to see loved ones — combined with the fear of becoming sick and having been largely restricted to cells or crowded dormitories — had exacerbated existing mental illnesses.

But not everyone is pleased with the return of in-person visits.

Mr. McGlothin, the federal prison employee in California, said that when he went to officials with concerns about the risks of renewed visits, he was told that the new partitions would help and that the plan would be safe.

“I said, ‘Safe for who?’” Mr. McGlothin said.

Even some families were reluctant.

Nina Schunck said that she and her daughter, an

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Neptune Wellness Solutions, Inc. (NEPT) Believes U.S. Federal Regulation Of Cannabis Will Deliver Compound Growth For Decades

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Sep 30, 2020 (Marijuana Stocks via COMTEX) —
Neptune Wellness Solutions Believes U.S. Federal Regulation Of Cannabis Will Deliver Compound Growth For Decades To Come, Company Poised For Industry Leadership Position

Neptune Wellness Solutions, Inc. (“Neptune” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: NEPT) (TSX: NEPT), a diversified and fully integrated health and wellness company focused on natural, plant-based, sustainable, and purpose-driven lifestyle brands, plans to expand its line of cannabis consumer product goods readying itself for expansion into the United States based on the results of an independent recent survey commissioned by the Company.

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OnePoll conducted a study, on behalf of Neptune Wellness Solutions, which found bipartisan support for legalization.

71% of Democrats and 67% of Republicans agreed that federal restrictions on marijuana should end and that cannabis should be legalized;
67% of Democrats and

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