Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel Neves gives kitchen safety tips for fire prevention week

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Warren County fire department makes history as all-female interior crew responds to call | Regional

WASHINGTON BOROUGH, N.J. – The Washington Borough Fire Department in Warren County, New Jersey made history last week when its first all-female interior crew responded to a call.

The department recently added three certified firefighters to its volunteer roster; all are women.

Destinee Hartrum, her cousin Stephanie Hartrum and Deanna Harrington said they didn’t plan to join at the same time but wanted to serve their communities. They have spent the better part of a year in fire school training to do so.

“There is over 100 years of fire service in my family, so I kind of felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Destinee.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fewer than 10% of firefighters are female. Washington Borough Chief Dirk Higgins estimates that number to be even smaller in Warren County.

“We have the ability to have role models that we can showcase to young girls in our community and say ‘hey, you can be a fire fighter too,'” Higgins said.

Deanna Harrington said she spent about five years working in EMS before attending the fire academy. And that while some people in the community may be surprised to see a woman under the gear, the rest of the Washington Borough department is not.

“You hear of stories from other women from other parts of the country but here I’ve never felt treated differently. I just feel just another one of the guys, a fire fighter, you get treated with equal respect. They know you can do your job; you know they can do their job and that’s what really matters,” Harrington said.

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State Farm teams up with Saco Fire Department to serve up kitchen safety

SACO — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm Agent Peg Poulin are teaming up with the Saco Fire Department to support Fire Prevention Week, an annual public awareness campaign promoting home fire safety.

State Farm Agents are delivering Fire Prevention Week toolkits to more than 2500 fire departments across the country, including Saco. Each toolkit includes resources for Fire Prevention Week — which takes place Oct. 4-10 — including brochures, magnets, posters and more. The Fire Department will be sharing these resources with schools and communities this fall in support of the campaign.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” focuses on cooking fire safety. Home cooking fires represent the leading cause of all fires with nearly half — 49 percent — happening in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of these fires.

“The good news is that the majority of kitchen fires are highly preventable,” said State Farm Agent Peg Poulin. “These great kits will help our fire departments spread the news to always stay focused when you’re in the kitchen and never leave the kitchen unattended.”

Key messages around this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign will include the following:

• Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.

• Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen,” visit fpw.org.

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NTEC Receives Highest Honor for Exemplary Mining and Reclamation from US Department of Interior

NTEC chose to rework marginal, legacy reclamation sites to create a stable landscape, ultimately allowing the land to be returned better than they found it

FARMINGTON, N.M., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the US Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) recognized Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) for their exemplary mining and reclamation work at the Navajo Mine. OSMRE awarded NTEC the agencies highest honor for activities that went above and beyond reclamation requirements to achieve superior results.

NTEC is the steward of the nearly 33,000 acre Navajo Coal Mine on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Traditional piecemeal reclamation began at the mine in 1970. When NTEC, a Navajo-owned company, purchased the mine in 2013 they inherited failing reclamation and unstable landforms, much of which had already been relinquished from jurisdictional oversight. The company immediately saw an opportunity to go above and beyond to correct the situation and do more than required to create a stable, sustainable landscape that mimics the natural erosion and deposition process of the Southwest.

Specifically, one site had been reclaimed to the previous applicable standard and was unnaturally eroding, while another site was lacking soil to shape and fill the area. However, the existing site configuration didn’t allow equipment the access necessary to perform reclamation work. NTEC and Bisti Fuels (NTEC’s contract miner) applied a creative solution to remedy both situations and allow for a watershed reclamation method.

The limiting infrastructure included electric rail structures (necessary to move coal from the pit to the power plant) and a local access road. The Company removed electric rail overhead lines and purchased diesel locomotives, as well as relocated a portion of the road. The new road location served the dual purpose of providing locals safe passage during the weather events. The new configuration allowed NTEC to correct the erosion problems with one pit, minimize impacts to previous reclamation, and move soils for future reclamation. Combined, these extraordinary efforts allowed for a large-scale effort that mimics a natural watershed and creates a sustainable restoration landscape.

This effort and approach is above and beyond what is required. “We took a site that has already been released from jurisdiction by the agency, and put it back in, because we knew we could do it better—we wanted to leave things better than we found them,” said Clark Moseley, CEO. “Doing the right thing is one of NTEC’s core behaviors. We have an obligation to our shareholders, the Navajo People. Our reclamation efforts present an opportunity to step up, do the right thing, at the right time, and create a better landform than what is required.”

OSMRE Principal Deputy Director Lanny E. Erdos, along with NTEC and Navajo Nation leadership toured the reclamation site this morning. The tour was followed be an award ceremony. “It is with great pleasure that I am here today to present the Navajo Transitional Energy Company with the 2020 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Award,” said OSM

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Interior Employees Raise Concerns After Department Celebrates ‘European Heritage Month’

The Interior Department celebrated European Heritage Month in August, an unusual move that has caused some employees to feel uneasy. 

Interior published an online monthly magazine as part of that celebration, which highlighted the history and accomplishments of various European cultures in the United States. While the same publication put out previous issues that focused on other groups such as LGBTQ and Asian Americans, the publication caused a stir among some employees who saw the celebration as insensitive and improperly promoting ideals related to white pride.

Employees at Interior said they could not recall Interior ever recognizing European Heritage Month previously, with one saying the department “made up their own commemorative month.” The publication was put together by the head of “special emphasis programs” at the Interior Business Center, though the magazine is labeled as a publication of Interior’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administrative Services. A division of Interior’s Office of Civil Rights, the department’s special emphasis programs website lists nearly a dozen events and groups as part of its observance policy and European heritage is not one of them. There does not appear to be any national recognition of August as European Heritage Month. 

Some Interior workers who were aware of the publication became annoyed and angry about it, one employee said. The message appeared to promote a “white lives matter” ideology, said the individual, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, and was especially troubling “during a time of civil awakening.” 

Steve Carlisle, the editor of the magazine, told Government Executive he had no intention of making a political statement and did not want to “insult anybody or hurt anybody.” He said he and his colleagues gave “a lot of consideration” to the potential blowback of publishing the issue, but ultimately decided it was important to “make content relevant to everyone” and saw it as a way to “celebrate immigration.” Carlisle came up with the idea for the magazine during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as Interior employees could no longer gather in person to celebrate various cultures each month. 

“Taken as a whole,” he said of the project, “it is really about including as many groups and backgrounds of people as we possibly can.” 

The issue highlights the history of many Europeans arriving to the United States through Ellis Island and goes on to highlight specific experiences of Welsh, Irish and German Americans, including some first-person narratives of Interior employees who vacationed in their ancestral homelands. It also included references to National Parks with “European connections.” The Interior employee took issue with a blurb on the large number of Native Americans in Florida at the time of European contact, suggesting it only served to highlight that those populations have been almost entirely wiped out. 

Another Interior employee said the entire issue of the magazine was “tone deaf.” 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has flagged various organizations that celebrate European heritage as associated with white nationalism. Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, R-Va., once sparked a brief

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Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions Awarded 5 Year Analytics Contract With the Department of the Interior

Press release content from Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

DALLAS – September 28, 2020 – ( Newswire.com )

Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions (Nexus Cognitive)  announced that it was awarded a 5-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to evaluate 2-D seismic reflection field data for The Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), on behalf of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

“The Department of the Interior selected Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions to deliver state of the art Pre-Stack Time Migration and Pre-Stack Depth Migration analytics with deep learning that will help the agency achieve its mission to investigate the mineral potential of Alaska’s Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS), mainly for oil and gas potential, and to ensure that the federal government receives fair market value for OCS oil and gas leases that it awards to private firms through a competitive bidding process. We are honored to be the trusted partner with Department of Interior for the 5 year life of this award,” said Scott Marvel, Managing Partner, Nexus Government Solutions.

“This award from DOI further validates Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions deep skills in machine learning, and pervasive analytics powered by our capabilities in GPU enabled High Performance Compute. We look forward to accelerating the mission of DOI and BOEM,” said Anu Jain, Analytics Leader and Growth Officer of Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions.

About Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions 
Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions is a premier public sector digital transformation agency. Nexus has deep experience in delivering digital outcomes thru the use of Cloud, Advanced data and analytic capabilities, application migration, cognitive design services, cybersecurity, and deep SME expertise in our domains. Nexus strives to be the trusted partner to enable digital solutions to the public sector. Nexus Cognitive Government solutions is classified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

Learn more at  http://www.nexuscognitivegov.com  and  http://www.nexuscognitive.com

SOURCE Nexus Cognitive

For further information: Steve Roberts, Chief Operations Officer Nexus Government Solutions, 214.775.9949 ext. 703,  [email protected]

Press Release Service by Newswire.com

Original Source: Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions Awarded 5 Year Analytics Contract With the Department of the Interior

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PMC garden department against re-opening public gardens as residents question decision – pune news

Despite a growing demand to re-open the public gardens across the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is firm on keeping it shut as a preventive measure in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PMC garden department head Ashok Ghorpade said, “Mainly senior citizens and children visit gardens. Both are vulnerable age groups in the current Covid-19 situation. Two months ago, the PMC opened 13 gardens for exercise, but the experience was bad. Considering the present situation, it is not possible to open public gardens.”

According to Ghorpade, the state government’s government resolution (GR) is very clear and it has banned the opening of the public gardens.

“No other municipal corporation in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, has opened public gardens yet,” Ghorpade said.

“If gardens reopen, it could become hotspots as people will begin using the benches, play with toys and also use the exercise equipment in open gyms.

Activities like yoga and laughing clubs are carried out in gardens, where social distance is not followed,” he added.

The PMC opened 13 gardens on a pilot basis in Pune for exercise purposes in June. Residents began using open gym equipment, visiting gardens without masks and did not maintain social distance.

Against this background, there is no preparedness by the garden department to reopen the gardens.

Ravindra Joshi, a resident of Sahakanagar said, “Hundreds of people are visiting Taljai hill and other areas. If citizens are allowed to exercise on the hills, what is the problem in opening the public gardens?”

Another citizen, Ratnamala Shah said, “Due to the Covid situation, citizens are sitting at home and are bored. If they would go in the open air and do some exercise it would help. It is true that citizens did not follow the rules, but garden employees can warn them to use masks all the time while they are present in the garden. In any case, citizens are walking on busy roads, instead, they would use the garden.”

Avinash Kute, a resident said, “I used to go to the garden every morning. Now I am missing it. As everything is opening up, the garden should also open for the public but it should be strictly kept open for exercise and walking purposes.”

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Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions Awarded 5-Year Analytics Contract With the Department of the Interior

DALLAS, Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions (Nexus Cognitive) announced that it was awarded a 5-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to evaluate 2-D seismic reflection field data for The Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), on behalf of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

“The Department of the Interior selected Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions to deliver state of the art Pre-Stack Time Migration and Pre-Stack Depth Migration analytics with deep learning that will help the agency achieve its mission to investigate the mineral potential of Alaska’s Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS), mainly for oil and gas potential, and to ensure that the federal government receives fair market value for OCS oil and gas leases that it awards to private firms through a competitive bidding process. We are honored to be the trusted partner with Department of Interior for the 5 year life of this award,” said Scott Marvel, Managing Partner, Nexus Government Solutions.

“This award from DOI further validates Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions deep skills in machine learning, and pervasive analytics powered by our capabilities in GPU enabled High Performance Compute. We look forward to accelerating the mission of DOI and BOEM,” said Anu Jain, Analytics Leader and Growth Officer of Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions.

About Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions 
Nexus Cognitive Government Solutions is a premier public sector digital transformation agency. Nexus has deep experience in delivering digital outcomes thru the use of Cloud, Advanced data and analytic capabilities, application migration, cognitive design services, cybersecurity, and deep SME expertise in our domains. Nexus strives to be the trusted partner to enable digital solutions to the public sector. Nexus Cognitive Government solutions is classified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

Learn more at http://www.nexuscognitivegov.com and http://www.nexuscognitive.com

For further information: Steve Roberts, Chief Operations Officer Nexus Government Solutions, 214.775.9949 ext. 703, [email protected]

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White House touts unusual Justice Department announcement about ‘discarded’ Trump ballots in Pennsylvania

The Justice Department said Thursday that it is investigating “potential issues with mail-in ballots” in the swing state of Pennsylvania and, in a highly unusual disclosure, revealed that several ballots marked for President Donald Trump were “discarded.”



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: President Donald Trump listens to a question during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington.


© Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump listens to a question during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington.

US Attorney David Freed said a preliminary inquiry determined that nine “military ballots were discarded” and that seven of them “were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.” The incident occurred in Luzerne County, a swing county in northeastern Pennsylvania that is home to Wilkes-Barre. Trump flipped the county in 2016 after years of narrow Democratic wins.

The statement was highly unusual because it highlighted the fact that the ballots were marked for Trump — which immediately raised suspicions that the Justice Department was trying to furnish material that Trump could promote for political gain. Indeed, Trump and other White House aides used the information, even before it was made public, to attack mail-in voting.

Election officials go to extraordinary lengths to protect ballot secrecy. It’s unclear how investigators figured out who the votes were for, and why they made that information public.

Additionally, the Justice Department typically does not comment about ongoing investigations, though there are rules allowing it when there is a public interest at stake, like election integrity.

The federal probe was apparently triggered by a request from Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, a Republican who announced Tuesday that federal investigators were assisting with an election issue. Freed, also a Republican, was appointed by Trump in 2017. A spokesperson for Salavantis told CNN that the nine affected ballots are for the general election. Many military and overseas ballots were sent out last weekend.

“It seems worth investigating, but I think it is really weird that they say who the votes were cast for,” CNN election law analyst Rick Hasen said in response to the announcement. “I think it will become fodder for the President to claim that people are messing with ballots in Pennsylvania.”

While any missing ballots can cause a problem, the issue appears to be miniscule, based on statements from investigators. More than 6.1 million Pennsylvanians voted in the 2016 election.

Trump uses news to criticize mail-in voting

In an interview earlier on Thursday morning, before the Justice Department announcement, Trump seized on the Pennsylvania situation to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. It wasn’t clear at the time what he was referring to, and there had been local reports of an inquiry, but his comments generally align with the information released by Freed on Thursday afternoon.

Trump, who had apparently been briefed, told Fox News Radio, “They found six ballots in an office yesterday, in a garbage can. They were Trump ballots. Eight ballots, in an office yesterday in a certain state. … This is what’s going to happen. And we’re investigating that.”

Shortly

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Interior Department watchdog ‘highly successful’ at hacking agency’s networks

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said Wednesday that it has been “highly successful” at accessing the agency’s networks as part of a security audit due to cybersecurity shortcomings. 

As part of a security audit, OIG employees conducted penetration testing on the Interior Department’s networks, and were successfully able to break into networks and access sensitive information, including intercepting and decrypting network traffic, accessing internal networks at two Interior Department bureaus, and stealing the credentials of an agency IT employee. 

The OIG accessed the networks through simulating previous attacks by malicious hackers to target federal agencies, including using portable testing units concealed in backpacks and operated by smartphones to test the networks while the OIG employees were positioned in publicly accessible areas of Interior Department buildings.

The OIG noted that the penetration testing went “undetected” by both IT personnel and security guards. 

“We used the same tools, techniques, and practices that malicious actors use to eavesdrop on communications and gain unauthorized access,” the OIG wrote in a report detailing the security audit results. “Many of the attacks we conducted were previously used by Russian intelligence agents around the world.”

Based on findings from the audit, the OIG accused the agency’s Office of the Chief Information Officer of failing to “establish and enforce wireless security practices,” and concluded that the Interior Department did not carry out regular tests of its network security, maintain inventories of its wireless networks, and published inadequate security guidance. 

“Without operating secure wireless networks that include boundary controls between networks and active monitoring, the Department is vulnerable to the breach of a high-value IT asset, which could cripple Department operations and result in the loss of highly sensitive data,” the OIG wrote.

In order to prevent successful cyberattacks, the OIG recommended the Interior Department take over a dozen steps to increase security, and noted in the audit that 13 of the recommendations had already been resolved by the agency. 

Interior Department Chief Information Officer William Vajda responded to each of the OIG’s recommendations in a letter attached to the report, writing that his office “appreciated working” with the OIG. 

“I am pleased to report that the Department not only concurs with all of the Office of the Inspector General’s recommendations, but also have substantially complied with all of them, with just a few remaining tasks to be accomplished with respect to a few of the recommendations,” Vajda wrote to Interior Department Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt. 

The OIG noted in the report that despite these strides forward, the agency can still do more to shore up cybersecurity.

“Until the Department improves its cyber risk management practices, its computer networks and high-value IT assets will be at risk of compromise, the results of which could have serious or severe adverse effects on Department operations, assets, or individuals,” the OIG wrote. “The Department has begun taking significant steps to mitigate these weaknesses, but more remains to be done.”

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