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first_imgGovernors Urge Federal Government to Increase LIHEAP Funding to $1Bfor New England StatesRequest Sharp Increase in Funds to Assist Most Vulnerable this WinterWaterbury, VT-At an energy summit held by the New England Governors’ Conference, Inc. (NEGC) July 9, Governor Jim Douglas and his regional counterparts urged the federal government to increase federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to $1 billion for the New England states this winter.In a letter sent to President Bush, Congressional leadership, and Senators McCain and Obama, the governors illustrate that the requested funding, a sharp increase from last year’s federal budget, is desperately needed to support low-income families in the upcoming heating season. They note that since the winter of 2005-2006, the price of home heating oil in New England has jumped 87%, and natural gas prices have also risen steeply. In order to deliver the same amount of fuel to New England eligible households as LIHEAP provided in 2005-06, assuming a likely increase in the number of households that will apply for needed assistance, LIHEAP funding for New England states would need to be increased to $1 billion.”Many Vermont families-indeed, many New England families-rely on the heating assistance provided by the LIHEAP program, particularly in this time of soaring fuel prices,” said Governor Douglas. “No Vermonter should be cold in his or her home this winter, or any winter. Through my new Food and Fuel Partnership, my administration is marshalling all our state’s resources to ensure all Vermonters are able to weather the perfect storm of rising food, fuel and transportation prices.”Thanks to the financial commitments made by Governor Douglas and the Vermont legislature, last year Vermont provided the most generous LIHEAP benefit in the country, averaging approximately $1169 per household, with approximately 23,000 households served.”Ensuring that the LIHEAP program remains strong for the many families it serves is a key component of the Governor’s Food and Fuel Partnership,” said Agency of Human Services Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. “With so many Vermont and New England residents facing the very real prospect of being unable to heat their homes this winter, we need unwavering support from our federal partners in addition to the state’s efforts to ensure our most vulnerable families are able to keep their families warm.”The New England Governors further noted that all of their states are mobilizing resources to address the coming heating crisis, including establishing programs to replace inefficient furnaces, and significantly expanding the installation of insulation, programmable thermostats, thermal windows, weather stripping, and energy efficient appliances. However, these measures alone will not be enough to address the immediate needs of vulnerable families this winter.The NEGC also called on the federal government to take action to protect New England’s most vulnerable residents through a variety of other measures. These include significantly increasing funding for the federal Weatherization Program; increasing TANF block grants to allow for family supplemental payments for greater utility and heating costs; allowing Medicaid rules to cover increasing energy costs for programs and services that are provided in 24/7 facilities such as group homes and residential care and nursing facilities; and, increasing social services block grants to cover additional costs of transportation and energy for center-based care, such as child-care centers.The New England Governors’ Conference, Inc., is a non-partisan, non-profit corporation, and includes the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The NEGC coordinates regional policy programs in the areas of economic development, transportation, environment, energy, and health.#####last_img read more

first_imgThe league has introduced blanket coronavirus testing at clubs and is eager to finish the season by the end of June. That is when some player contracts expire.The push to resume has faced a backlash. There have been at least 11 positive tests of players and staff since testing began last week and Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou was suspended after posting a video showing social distancing measures being flouted at the club.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Paris Saint-Germain has donated 100,000 euros ($108,000) to the Action Against Hunger charity amid the coronavirus pandemic.The money provides charity workers helping those at risk with protective equipment such as surgical masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, gels and thermometers.The Parc des Princes has been operating as a support base for the charity in the Greater Paris region.PSG says club volunteers have helped charity staff “make, assemble and store hygiene kits and health equipment for those most at risk.” More than 2,000 people have benefited from hygiene and household kits.PSG president Nasser al-Khelaïfi says the charity’s “wide-ranging work in many fields is more essential than ever.” Most of the other Italian league clubs are resuming training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.___The Croatian soccer federation says it wants to restart the season on May 30 with the cup semifinals.The country’s 10-team league is set to resume with all games in empty stadiums on June 6 amid the coronavirus pandemic.The Croatian federation is led by former player and UEFA executive committee member Davor Suker. It says final approval must come from public authorities. Lower-level leagues will not be completed. The Belgian soccer league says it will respect the national security council’s decision. The league recommended last month ending its season with the current standings declared final.The league says “the working group’s proposals will be presented to the Pro League clubs at the general assembly on May 15.”Club Brugge stands to be awarded the title and qualify for next season’s Champions League if the advice is confirmed. Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs.___The Russian anti-doping agency plans to resume testing this month. The Latest: Belgium says all sports suspended until July 31 Dinamo Zagreb leads the league by 18 points over Rijeka with 10 matches remaining.Four clubs are in contention for the runner-up spot and a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.___Soccer players in Spain are going back to their team’s training camps for the first time since the country entered a lockdown nearly two months ago because of the coronavirus outbreak.Players for Barcelona, Real Madrid and other clubs arrived for medical tests and to start preparing for the return to training this week. ___The Turkish soccer league plans to resume on June 12, finish its season by the end of July and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.Turkey suspended its soccer, basketball and volleyball leagues because of the coronavirus outbreak on March 20.Turkish soccer federation president Nihat Ozdemir says “we are aiming to end the season on July 26 by playing seven weekends and one weekday game.”Ozdemir says the games will be played without spectators and the Turkish health ministry and its scientific advisory council will determine the conditions and guidelines under which the games will go ahead. ___Inter Milan has postponed the return of its players to the training field because not everyone on the team has been tested for the coronavirus.Serie A players are set to resume practice this week under a strict set of guidelines amid the pandemic and Inter was slated to restart on Wednesday.But Inter’s Suning Center remains closed and is now expected to reopen at the end of the week.Inter’s team doctor was one of three Serie A physicians who were hospitalized with the virus. CEO Yuri Ganus says testing will start again in the last 10 days of May with a “balanced, selective and focused” approach as the agency tries to make up for a lengthy stoppage.Testing was suspended at the end of March when Russian President Vladimir Putin asked people to stay home unless they were working in designated essential sectors.Ganus says that during the stoppage “we have been carrying out all the work of a national anti-doping agency except for the testing.” That covers areas such as education, investigations and planning for future tests.Anti-doping work worldwide has come to a near-standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. That has raised fears that some athletes could take advantage and cheat.The Russian agency issued staff with disinfectant wipes and face masks before the stoppage and also offered athletes masks to wear while being tested. Associated Press Purslow says “we have six home games left to play so any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless the circumstances are right.”Villa is in next-from-last place in the Premier League and two points from safety with 10 games remaining.___German soccer could be cleared to resume when Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with the governors of the country’s 16 states.The dpa news agency reports that May 15 and 21 are being considered by the federal government as start dates for the Bundesliga. ___Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow says Premier League clubs have yet to settle on protocols to ensure a safe return to playing during the coronavirus pandemic.The league is trying to find a way to resume in June but group practice sessions have not yet started.Purslow tells talkSPORT radio that “we haven’t got to the crucial protocols that relate to actually playing football. Until we crack the code of making our great contact sports safe then the conversation we’re having is hypothetical.”Aston Villa has joined Brighton and West Ham in expressing public opposition to the current “Project Restart” plan that would see all remaining games played at neutral stadiums. May 6, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The majority did not wear masks or gloves. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez were among those without masks when they drove into Barcelona’s training center. Antoine Griezmann, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic had masks on.Real Madrid players Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema arrived without masks like most of their teammates.The training centers of all clubs were disinfected in the last couple of days. All players and members of the coaching staff are going to be tested for COVID-19 before training can resume.Players will initially train individually. The league wants a training period of about a month before it can restart in empty stadiums. It hopes to resume sometime in June.___last_img read more