Fiery Halloween decor prompts multiple emergency calls

Halloween house in Riverside
(Los Angeles Times)

In California, few things are more terrifying than fire — which may be why one Riverside family thought it would make for perfect Halloween decor.

Carmen and Travis Long said their home’s realistic flame display, part of a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed creation, was born from their love of the decorative holiday. But some passersby have found it so scary that they have called the Fire Department.

“They’ve done a pretty significant Halloween decorating job,” said Phil Pitchford, spokesman for the city of Riverside, who noted that the Riverside Fire Department has received five separate calls about the display since Oct. 3, and even “rolled an engine out there once.”

The Fire Department has since made a note in its dispatch system so if a call about flames comes in at that address, officials will know it’s “the house that everybody thinks is on fire but actually is not,” Pitchford said.

Despite the home’s alarming glow, it’s all smiles for the homeowners and their neighbors. Firefighters have even congratulated the family on their realistic display, which includes smoke, billowing orange curtains and sound effects.

The show goes on from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday through Sunday at Chapman Place and Magnolia Avenue, and at least 300 people turn out to view the display each night, the family said.

Carmen Long told ABC-TV Channel 7 she was happy they could “help bring a little Halloween joy for everyone” during a particularly challenging year.

Holiday visitors have become somewhat of a tradition for the neighborhood. Pitchford said the block is renowned for its annual Christmas decorations as well.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Halloween decor’s realism at Riverside, California home prompts multiple calls requesting fire department response

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A Riverside, California family’s Halloween decor is so realistic that multiple people have made emergency phone calls summoning firefighters to the home.

To say Carmen and Travis Long love Halloween is an understatement.

They began creating their “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed creation three years ago.

“We’ve been adding things every year,” said homeowner Carmen Long. “It started with just skeletons, then we added a cannon in the back and the ship, the pretend fire on the side.”

Safe Halloween science ideas during COVID

The make-believe blaze is so realistic that passersby have called the fire department numerous times.

Onlookers can watch the creative show every Friday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the corner of Chapman Place and Magnolia Avenue.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Halloween decor’s realism at Riverside home prompts multiple calls requesting fire department response

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) — A Riverside family’s Halloween decor is so realistic that multiple people have made emergency phone calls summoning firefighters to the home.

To say Carmen and Travis Long love Halloween is an understatement.

They began creating their “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed creation three years ago.

“We’ve been adding things every year,” said homeowner Carmen Long. “It started with just skeletons, then we added a cannon in the back and the ship, the pretend fire on the side.”

Safe Halloween science ideas during COVID

The make-believe blaze is so realistic that passersby have called the fire department numerous times.

Onlookers can watch the creative show every Friday through Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the corner of Chapman Place and Magnolia Avenue.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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White House calls for Congress to release unused small business loans

Oct. 11 (UPI) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday sent a letter to Congress calling for the release of unused Paycheck Protection Program funds amid ongoing talks on an additional round of COVID-19 stimulus.

Mnuchin and Meadows urged lawmakers to release the $134 billion in loans provided to small businesses to maintain operations and retain employees included in the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March, while also criticizing Congress — particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — for their “all-or-nothing” approach to negotiating additional stimulus.

“The House has passed two separate partisan bills instead of compromising with us on bipartisan legislation like we have done in the past,” they wrote. “We will continue to try to work with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer. It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to help the American people.”

The letter comes after Mnuchin introduced a $1.8 trillion proposal on Friday, raising the White House’s previous offer of $1.6 trillion and inching closer to the $2.2 trillion package passed by the Democratic-led House earlier this month.

Mnuchin’s proposal was met with criticism from Democrats who believed it was not enough and some Republicans who believe the funding is too high.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said that he believes Senate Republicans can come to an agreement in support of a newly proposed $1.8 trillion package despite host Jake Tapper noting that 20 GOP members of the chamber criticized the latest proposal from the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a “death knell” for the measure.

“I don’t think it’s dead at all. I spoke to Secretary Mnuchin last evening. Look, don’t forget, the Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was,” Kudlow said, referring to a so-called “skinny” $300 billion relief bill that failed to meet the 60 vote threshold to pass in September.

“I think, if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”

Democrats have pushed to reinstate enhanced federal unemployment insurance at $600 a week through January, while Mnuchin last offered $400 a week at most. The Trump administration has also resisted providing states with any more than $150 billion in federal funding they received in a stimulus package earlier this year, while Pelosi has called for at least $436 billion in relief for states.

In a letter to Democratic colleagues on Saturday, Pelosi said the latest offer from the White House was “insufficient,” calling on the administration to commit to addressing issues related to combatting the virus such as testing, contact tracing and treatment.

“Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse,” she wrote. “However, I remain hopeful that the White House will join us to

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Fauci calls White House outbreak a coronavirus superspreader event

More than 150 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Most of them were maskless. Many hugged or shook hands as they mingled in close proximity.

Some attendees even celebrated inside the White House, without masks.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nomination ceremony was a coronavirus superspreader event. The term refers to a circumstance in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others, often during a large gathering.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci told CBS News in a radio interview on Friday.

Within five days of the event, both the president and the first lady, Melania Trump, were diagnosed with COVID-19. The outbreak has hit at least 34 people in the president’s orbit, including White House staffers, bodyguards, and family members, as well as pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

The identity of the person or people who were first infected, however, is unknown.

Defining a superspreader

rose garden barrett

Judge Amy Coney Barrett speaks in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 after President Donald Trump nominated her to the Supreme Court.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


The term superspreader refers to an infected person who transmits the virus to more people than the average patient does. For the coronavirus, that average number, known as R0 (pronounced “R-naught”), has seemed to hover between 2 and 2.5. So anyone who passes the virus to three people or more could be considered a superspreader.

A superspreader event, then, is a set of circumstances that facilitates excessive transmission. In one well-known example, a person transmitted the virus to 52 others during a choir practice in March in Mount Vernon, Washington.

A superspreader event in Arkansas that month involved a pastor and his wife who attended church events a few days before they developed symptoms. Of the 92 people there, 35 got sick. Seven had to be hospitalized, and three died.

In that sense, it’s not so much that individual people are innate superspreaders — it’s the type of activity that enables a person to pass the virus to lots of people.

Those activities generally involve large gatherings — often indoors — in which lots of people from different households come into close, extended contact, such as religious services or parties.

“You can’t have a superspreading event unless there are a lot of people around, so you have to be very careful still about gatherings of people of any size,” William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University, previously told Business Insider.

rose garden barrett

Attorney General William Barr, right, says goodbye to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Rose Garden event on September 26.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty


Rachel Graham, an assistant epidemiology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said most Rose Garden ceremony attendees weren’t doing anything to mitigate virus transmission.

“They’re doing pretty

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Fauci calls Amy Coney Barrett ceremony in Rose Garden ‘superspreader event’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on Friday called President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden ceremony last month announcing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court a “superspreader event.”

Fauci, who was interviewed by CBS News Radio’s White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, defended the efficacy of wearing masks to slow the spread of Covid-19 and used the ceremony as an example.

“Well, I think the data speaks for themselves. We had a superspreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” he said. “So the data speak for themselves.”

This is not the first time Fauci has been at odds with Trump, who has had a cavalier attitude toward Covid-19 since being released from the hospital Monday after being infected with the virus, and has boasted about his apparent recovery and given mixed messaging around wearing masks.

Fauci survived a previous White House attempt to discredit him after he contradicted the president’s more optimistic assessment of the progress of the pandemic and corrected the president’s claim that the virus is the same as the flu.

Trump announced Barrett, a federal appeals judge, as his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the next Supreme Court justice at an outdoor ceremony Sept. 26, attended by more than 150 people, many of whom did not wear masks or practice social distancing.

In addition to the president and the first lady, several other people who were at the ceremony have been confirmed to have Covid-19: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins and a White House journalist.

Following that event, the number of people in Trump’s orbit who have tested positive for the coronavirus is growing, including more than a dozen aides at the White House and on the Trump campaign.

Fauci also contradicted the president, but did not mention his name, when asked about references to cures for Covid-19, saying it “leads to a lot of confusion,” noting there are promising treatments but no known cure. Trump has called the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals drug he received a miracle “cure” for the virus.

Fauci also said he is worried Americans might not take the virus seriously as the president touts his apparent recovery.

“I think a misperception on the part of some is that this isn’t a particularly serious situation and because so many people do well, that you don’t really have to take it seriously,” he said. “And that’s a misperception we have to overcome because you don’t want to trivialize the disease because it has the capability of seriously making an individual seriously ill and also killing individuals, usually the elderly, and usually those who have underlying medical conditions.”

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Fauci Calls White House Ceremony a ‘Super-Spreader Event’

(Bloomberg) — Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious-disease expert, said that a gathering in the White House Rose Garden last month was a “super-spreader event” for the novel coronavirus.

President Donald Trump held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26 to honor Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. While the White House had a testing regime in place to screen for virus cases, few guests wore masks and attendees mingled and sat in close proximity to one another both indoors and outdoors.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Barrett rose garden party


© Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barrett rose garden party

Guests in the Rose Garden at the White House on Sept. 26.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Subsequently, the president and several top staffers, as well as senators and military officials, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci said in an interview Friday with CBS News Radio. “We had a super-spreader event in the White House. And it was in a situation where people were crowded together, were not wearing masks. So the data speaks for themselves.”

Fauci said in the interview that people who are infected with the coronavirus but aren’t yet showing symptoms can transmit the pathogen to others, which makes the case for wearing face coverings.

Read more: When the White House and the pandemic converged

Asymptomatic individuals “are a substantial part of the people that actually transmit infections to other people,” Fauci said in the CBS interview. “So the better part of the recommendation would be everybody wear a mask, literally universally.”

Trump was hospitalized last week after testing positive, and was given several experimental therapies, including Gilead Sciences Inc. antiviral remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody cocktail made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Trump said he intends to grant an emergency-use authorization to the Regeneron drug, which hasn’t yet been cleared in any form by U.S. regulators.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

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House calls bring Jewish tradition of Sukkot to the isolated

NEW YORK (AP) — Sukkot, the weeklong Jewish fall holiday commemorating God’s miraculous protection of the Jewish people in the desert, looks different this year.

Many vulnerable individuals remain isolated at home due to the coronavirus during a celebration meant to highlight unity in the sukkah, the temporary shelter where Sukkot is observed for seven days and nights.

To bring the joy and tradition to them, Rabbi Eli Blokh, director of the Chabad of Rego Park Jewish and Russian Community Center in New York’s Queens borough, mounted a sukkah of three walls with a roof of bamboo poles in a bright red pickup truck.


Then he, his two young sons, and two rabbinical students drove it through the community, making house calls to those who could not attend small in-person gatherings or construct a sukkah of their own.

One of them was Holocaust survivor Leon Sherman, who Blokh said “has an incredibly strong sense of faith and really cherishes the opportunity of being a part of the Jewish observance and tradition.”

“He’s been homebound until now,” the rabbi added, “and I thought of him first.”

As Sherman stood on the sidewalk outside his home wearing a mask and leather gloves, Blokh’s mobile sukkah pulled up playing niggunim, festive Hassidic tunes, from two loudspeakers affixed to the truck’s roof.

Sherman was physically unable to climb the small ladder into the sukkah, so the rabbi stood with him next to the truck as he took the lulav, a collection of palm, myrtle, and willow branches, and the etrog, a citrus fruit, reciting the blessings on the lulav together.

“He was really excited that we came and remembered him and that he counts,” Blokh said.

Blokh’s goal was to reach as many people as possible through the holiday ending Friday at sundown. After visiting Sherman, they hit two more homes that day.

“More than ever there’s a sense of isolation and also apprehension about the future, and I think it’s important, within the boundaries of social distancing and health precautions, to make sure that we continue reaching out to people,” Blokh said. “There’s something very visceral about being able to hold a lulav and etrog. … The physical bond between us still exists, it hasn’t gone into Zoom. We need each other.”

___

Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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Former GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump ‘the superspreader’ in the White House

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele referred to President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report White House Gift Shop selling ‘Trump Defeats COVID’ commemorative coin Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate MORE as a “superspreader” on Tuesday as a growing number of White House officials test positive for the coronavirus.

Steele knocked Trump after footage emerged online showing the president taking off his mask after returning to the White House on Monday, despite his positive COVID-19 diagnosis several days earlier. Trump spent the weekend at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center getting treatment for the disease.

At the time, Trump appeared to be posing for photos on a balcony at the White House. Not long after, the president could be seen leaving to enter the building without his mask on.

“He takes his mask off in contravention of everything we know. He is the superspreader. He is the problem in the White House, and everyone wants to tiptoe around it,” Steele said on MSNBC, where he serves as a political analyst.

“People are getting sick. We don’t know how and to what degree they will be sick over the next few weeks, and yet he’s standing there, thumbs up, like, you know, ‘I got a cold’ and ‘I got the sniffles,’” he said.

Trump drew widespread criticism on Monday after urging Americans not to “be afraid” of the disease, which has infected more than 7 million people in the country and has been linked to more than 210,000 deaths.

“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently,” the president said in a video, in which he did not wear a mask.

“Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen,” Trump went on, adding that he felt “better than 20 years ago.” 

During Trump’s time being hospitalized over the weekend, White House physician Sean Conley said the president was administered supplemental oxygen on Friday. At the time, Conley said Trump had developed a high fever and that his oxygen saturation had “transiently” dipped below 94 percent.

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOvernight Defense: Trump says he’s leaving Walter Reed, ‘feeling really good’ after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches Trump’s physician declines to provide key information on his health Trump says he’s leaving Walter Reed Monday evening MORE also said at one point that the president’s blood oxygen level “dropped rapidly” on Friday before he began showing signs of improvement later during the weekend. 

The president’s COVID-19 diagnosis comes as several White House aides and officials have tested positive for the disease over the past week.

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GOP Senator Marco Rubio Calls on White House for Frequent Updates About Trump’s Condition

Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on the White House for transparency following President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19.



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (R) speaks to members of the media in the Senate Subway under the U.S. Capitol on August 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. Rubio called for regular updates on the president's health after he tested positive for COVID-19.


© Stefani Reynolds/Getty
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (R) speaks to members of the media in the Senate Subway under the U.S. Capitol on August 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. Rubio called for regular updates on the president’s health after he tested positive for COVID-19.

With a number of people sharing conspiracy theories regarding Trump’s COVID diagnosis, the Florida senator said it was the White House’s duty to share “frequent, detailed, & transparent updates” regarding the president and his condition. He also said that everyone should “be skeptical of outlandish rumors” regarding Trump’s diagnosis.

World Reacts To Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Testing Positive For Coronavirus

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“A significant increase in conspiracy theories & outrageous claims since the President’s diagnosis,” he wrote. “Lies spread much faster than fact checking.”

Rubio had previously wrote on Twitter that he was praying for the president and first lady Melania Trump after the announcement that the couple had tested positive. The senator also tweeted: “Any adversary who views news of @POTUS testing positive as an opportunity to test the United States would be making a grave mistake.”

It’s unclear what types of updates Rubio is seeking from the White House. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted out an update from the president’s physician, and Trump has tweeted messages to his supporters that he felt that everything was “going well,” as well as a video message that he was going to Walter Reed Hospital.

While Rubio did not expand on what conspiracies he was referring to, a number of different theories have circulated since Trump was diagnosed with COVID, with some claiming the announcement was politically motivated and others more outlandish.

As previously reported, former congressional candidate and conservative commentator Deanna Lorraine suggested that Democrats intentionally gave the president the virus during the first presidential debate on Tuesday. “Trump was fine until the debate, where they set up microphones & podiums for him,” she wrote. “He tests positive a couple of days after the debate. I put nothing past the left. NOTHING.”

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