USDA Invests in Expansion of Rural Education and Health Care Access…

first_imgMIAMI, Florida – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett has announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investment of $979,659 in the expansion of the rural education and health care access.Plaskett, who is the representative of the US Virgin Islands in the House of Representatives, said that the major investment will aid in distance learning and telemedicine projects for rural communities across the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands.“Today, the USDA announced $979,659 of grants in distance learning and telemedicine projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands”, she said in a press release.“A $489,723 grant awarded to the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Commission (VISBDC) will enable UVI to implement a distance learning program providing early health screening, educational courses, and training. The second, a $489,936 grant to the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE) gives the Department the funding to expand course offerings, prepare students for college, and provide continuing education opportunities for teachers.“These grants will be instrumental in providing rural areas with the tools needed to reduce the educational and health disparities between rural areas and urban and suburban areas.”last_img read more

Australian Open golf postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19

first_img Written By Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 28th July, 2020 10:05 IST Australian Open Golf Postponed Indefinitely Due To COVID-19 Golf Australia said Tuesday that the Australian Open tournament will be postponed indefinitely and if played will not be held until early 2021 Golf Australia said Tuesday that the Australian Open tournament will be postponed indefinitely and if played will not be held until early 2021.The tournament was scheduled for Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, which has been in lockdown due to a large increase in COVID-19 deaths and infections over the past two months. The 105th edition of the tournament was set to be played in November, but no firm dates had been set.Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse said he was hopeful that the national championship will still be played later in the Australian summer, likely in January, February or March of next year.”These are very challenging times for all Australians and the uncertainty the global pandemic has caused makes it very difficult to be definitive in relation to future dates at this time,” Brookhouse said.”Unfortunately, it is not a simple matter of whether or not we could co-ordinate any international stars to visit. The uncertainty of the quarantine requirements for any players coming from outside Australia needed to be considered.” Australian Matt Jones held off South African Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke to win his second Australian Open title last year at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney. Image credits: AP 1 month ago Australian warships encounter Chinese naval vessels in South China Sea, situation diffused First Published: 28th July, 2020 10:05 IST 1 month ago Australian govt sets up aged care response centre in Victoria amid surging COVID-19 cases COMMENT FOLLOW UScenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WE RECOMMEND WATCH US LIVE 1 month ago COVID-19: Australian man travels inside giant plastic bubble to protect himself from virus LIVE TV 1 month ago Australian watchdog accuses Google of privacy breaches 1 month ago 2021 Australian Open: Smaller crowds, player bio-securitylast_img read more

Francisco gives UST big lift in crucial win over NU

first_imgFilipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos LATEST STORIES Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government Francisco then got entrenched into the defensive schemes of NU that she was eventually used as bait in Rondina’s combination plays.“Coach told us that we should always be aggressive because every point matters so I told myself that I should kill every set I get,” said Francisco.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTin Francisco has never been the premier scoring option for University of Santo Tomas, but the Golden Tigresses were sure glad the sophomore hitter came up big in their final match of the elimination round.Francisco finished with 11 points, behind EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina, who had 22 points apiece, to help UST take the match in five sets against National University, 20-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-12.ADVERTISEMENT Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Dutertecenter_img Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Cormier retains light heavyweight belt, retires Johnson Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town “Of course I was surprised with my role today because I never expected to play the full game,” said Francisco. “I expected that I would just come in whenever the starters are thrown off their game.”“But I never expected that I will play the whole game against NU.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnFrancisco came off the bench in the opening set and started the second until the fifth sets.She also made her mark in the closing moments for the Golden Tigresses when she gave UST a 9-7 lead in the fifth set. MOST READ On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town View comments Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’last_img read more

Firefighter embraces passion for writing books

first_imgThe Stephen King of Fire Station 18 in Granada Hills can trade the fantasy world of literature for his firefighter’s yellow turnout coat and oxygen mask in less than a minute. Plenty of people have two jobs – working one by day, the other by night – but not like John Hicks. As a veteran firefighter/paramedic, he never really stops working. As a children’s author, he never totally puts books out of his mind. Between his two careers, he must simultaneously be a fireman, writer, student, businessman, publisher, promoter, husband and father of three. The trim, polite man with the well-groomed mustache and firm handshake keeps himself just about as busy as humanly possible. And whenever he finds a nice quiet moment to settle down to write, his other job yanks him back in. Hicks got into the writing game on a lark. He hadn’t written since high school and the closest he came to the literary world was reading the occasional Tom Clancy novel, but he started scribbling out ideas longhand on yellow pads after a casual conversation with a neighbor a few years ago. He didn’t specifically set out to write for kids, but most of his stories seemed to resonate best with a younger audience. Remembering the Hardy Boys books he read as a child, he made the writing punchy and filled with cliffhangers, as hard-boiled protagonists dodge gunfire and fireballs. His wife, Nancy, an attractive and exceedingly patient woman, offers a weary smile when she considers the times he’s pulled himself out of bed in the middle of the night to pound out another chapter. “Coming from a guy who didn’t like school that much, it was a surprise,” she said, as Hicks shyly looked away. “He’s worked really hard on this. Really hard.” That work led to “Divided World,” which he describes as “`Star Wars’ meets ‘Snow White.”‘ It sat on the shelf awhile as he finished “My Buddypack,” which deals with a boy’s struggle to deal with his father’s death, government agents and a mysterious knapsack. He published both in 2003, following up with “The Ghost of Fire Company 18” last year. He’s now got two more on the way and a one-man publishing company to turn his ideas into reality. “I write any time,” he said, on a rare day off in his Valencia home. “If I wake up at 2 a.m., I’ll do it for half an hour. In the afternoon, after all my work’s done, I’ll do this instead of watching TV.” This plays out to extreme lengths. When Nancy goes shopping, he waits in the car, pounding away at his laptop, stealing 20 minutes here and there to write, edit and market his books. During family functions, when the conversation ebbs and the kids head off to watch a movie, on goes the computer. Writing has consumed his life, as he not only authors novels and a soon-to-be-published humor compendium for first responders, but also serves as Quiet Man Publishing’s sole employee. He’s also the financier for the company, named for his favorite John Wayne film, and sold his Suzuki DRZ-400 motorcycle to finance his latest novel. After five years and $15,000 worth of book sales, he’s finally making a modest profit for his long hours, watching his books sell nationally in Barnes & Noble, Borders and through his Web site, He attends book signings, reads at schools, writes letters to Oprah, hopes a studio will option his work, anything to make the venture pay for the swath it’s chewed through his free time. “I don’t know how he finds the time, between studying for the captain’s exam, being a paramedic and doing all the work here,” said Don Matthews, Station 18’s engineer. “I’ve got my copy of his book tucked away for when he’s famous. No one’s touching that baby.” And that’s the strange thing about Hicks – rather than slacking off on his primary career to pursue his literary dreams, he’s actually trying to get better. After a year-and-a-half of study, he passed the two-part test and made the list to be considered for captain, a position he hopes to attain later this year. The guys who man the 1999 Pierce fire engine at the Granada Hills station that serves as his second home give Hicks a hard time, giving him his good-natured Stephen King nickname and kidding him for his slavish devotion to work. If he’s not cleaning, training or exercising, they know exactly where to find him. “Whenever there’s any downtime, he’s always on the laptop,” said Jim Hoeft, a firefighter who pulls the Sunday night shift with Hicks. “He’s real good about making the time to work.” He recently finished the first responder’s book, co-authored with a sheriff’s deputy friend, hoping to put the book out in March. His fourth novel, “The Day Billy Lost His Weirdness,” should be available in the summer. This constant push for success has not been easy as Hicks weighs the delicate balance between family life and his demanding dual careers. Though he tries to maintain the confident demeanor of an entrepreneur, he privately admits fatigue. The long nights, the constant hustle, the ceaseless promotion, they wear on him just as much as the firefighting injuries. And yet he keeps searching for a way, figuring that somehow, eventually, he’ll find his reward. “I’m always guilt-ridden, trying to juggle work and my wife and kids,” he said. “It’s so hard, but hopefully, it’ll pay off. I’ll keep writing until people notice.” Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “You have an idea, then the bell rings and 60 seconds later, you’re out the door,” he said. “You learn to hit ‘save’ real quick. With this job, you never know. It could be quiet all day, then the next thing I know, I’m on a strike team headed north.” The other guys at the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Granada Hills station fill their spare time lifting weights, watching TV or trying out new recipes. The 41-year-old Hicks takes his Dell laptop into a corner and steps into his imagination. His writer’s salon consists of a square desk, four beds, two brown leather easy chairs and a television. When the calls are light and his paramedic skills aren’t needed, he holes up and hammers out tales of kids, ghosts and the fire department that’s been his job since he was just 19 years old. It’s been a taxing one, too. In his 21 years of service, the past 15 of which he’s done double duty as a paramedic, he’s had triple hernia surgery, torn his right rotator cuff, broken his ankle and suffered second-degree burns on his knees and ears. Unless his writing career blows up overnight, he’ll have at least nine more years with the department before he can retire with a pension. last_img