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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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn't visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent


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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

Regeneron filed for emergency authorization of its antibody COVID-19 treatment drug, just hours after President Trump claimed it basically cured him. Mitch McConnell hasn’t been to the White House in months, and a new analysis shows Americans’ job-based health care is continually getting more expensive.

We’ll start with Regeneron:

Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received

Biotech company Regeneron late Wednesday applied for emergency authorization for an experimental antibody treatment praised by President Trump.

“Subsequent to our discussions with regulatory authorities, we have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for our REGN-COV2 investigational antibody combination for COVID-19,” the company said in a news release.

The move came just hours after the president praised the efficacy of the treatment in a short video message posted on Twitter.

“They gave me Regeneron, it’s called Regeneron,” Trump said in the five-minute video Wednesday afternoon. “It was unbelievable. I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

Why it matters: Trump was taking several drugs for his illness, so it’s not clear which helped him feel better. He claimed he has the “emergency use authorization all set,” but the FDA is supposed to make decisions based on science and not demands from the president. Regeneron’s drug is still undergoing clinical trials, and while early results seem promising, the company has not released data to back up its claims.

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McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he hasn’t visited the White House in two months because of how it has responded to the coronavirus.

Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said that while he talks to President Trump frequently, he hasn’t been to the White House in person since Aug. 6.

“Because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” he told reporters.

McConnell’s comments come in the week after President Trump and roughly two dozen people in his orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Senate doesn’t have a mask mandate, though most senators wear masks around the Capitol and there are also signs to remind people to socially distance.

Unlike the Senate, the White House has rapid testing for those in contact with the president. But there have also been several events where the White House did not require social distancing and most people at the event did not wear masks.

McConnell on Thursday appeared to take a veiled jab at the White

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Appeals Court Permits House to Sue Over Trump’s Emergency Wall Spending

WASHINGTON — The House may pursue a constitutional lawsuit challenging President Trump’s use of emergency powers to spend more public funds on a southwestern border wall than Congress was willing to appropriate, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the House had claimed a sufficient injury to give lawmakers legal standing to pursue a lawsuit against the Trump administration.

The 24-page ruling partly reversed a decision by a district court judge in June 2019. That ruling had thrown out the lawsuit on the grounds that the House had no legal standing to sue the executive branch over a claimed threat to its constitutionally authorized control over federal spending.

That earlier ruling, by Judge Trevor N. McFadden of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, whom Mr. Trump appointed to the bench, was wrong, the appeals court said. It would undermine the “ironclad constitutional rule” that the president has no power to spend money without the approval of both the House and the Senate, the panel said.

Under the Trump legal team’s theory, wrote Judge David B. Sentelle, a senior judge on the appeals court, the president was free to spend public money however he wished unless veto-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress were willing to challenge him.

“That turns the constitutional order upside down,” the judge wrote. “The whole purpose of the appropriations clause’s structural protection is to deny the executive ‘an unbounded power over the public purse of the nation,’ and the power to ‘apply all its moneyed resources at his pleasure.’”

Judge Sentelle, a former chief judge of the appeals court, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. His opinion sending the case back to Judge McFadden to be decided on the merits was joined by two appointees of President Barack Obama, Patricia Millett and Robert Wilkins.

The Justice Department declined to comment about the panel’s ruling. It did not say whether it would appeal to the full appeals court — which has previously rejected the Trump administration’s claims that Congress had no right to pursue the case on other grounds — or whether it would acquiesce and move to fight over the constitutional questions before the district court.

Either way, the case appeared unlikely to be resolved before the election. In making sweeping claims of executive power, the Trump legal team has often suffered losses in court, but in the meantime, it has used appeals and the slow pace of litigation to successfully run out the clock on any definitive resolution of the underlying disputes while it could make a difference politically.

The appeals court did back another part of Judge McFadden’s ruling. The House lawsuit had argued that Mr. Trump’s transfer of funds that Congress had appropriated for other purposes to pay for a wall along the Mexican border violated not only the appropriations clause of the Constitution, but also a statute —

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Katharine House Hospice starts emergency survival appeal

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

The hospice

image copyrightKatharine House Hospice

image captionSome redundancies “are inevitable,” chief executive Dr Richard Soulsby said

A hospice is launching an emergency appeal to save its care services after a “major impact” on its fundraising due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Katharine House Hospice helps 1,300 adults and their families across mid-Staffordshire who are coping with progressive illness.

Four charity shops will close and about 200 staff will also take part in a consultation process to reduce costs.

The hospice is facing “difficult decisions”, its chief executive said.

Dr Richard Soulsby said the hospice, near Stafford County Hospital, has received additional funding through the NHS, local authorities and the government’s furlough scheme, but that will cease from next month.

“Donation plea”

“It was expected that the reopening of the shops would enable the hospice to be financially sustainable by using our reserves to weather the loss of income due to COVID-19,” he said.

“It is now evident that these reserves will not be sufficient in light of the higher than expected losses in the hospice’s fundraising and retail revenues.

“The hospice is now faced with difficult decisions regarding its future.”

Four stores that are unlikely to return to profit in the foreseeable future are to close and further reductions in payroll costs, which are expected to include job losses in all areas, are expected in coming weeks.

The charity said it will start its appeal next week and is asking people to make donations as the community has helped generate more than 75% of the funds to provide its services.

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House Dems call for an ‘emergency’ DOJ watchdog review of Durham probe

President Donald Trump has sought more prosecutions related to Durham’s probe, and has called for FBI and intelligence officials he views as his political enemies to be punished.

The Democrats are asking Horowitz to expedite a review of various aspects of Barr’s comments and Durham’s review. Among them: Whether Barr’s public commentary complies with DOJ policy and the 2018 inspector general report; whether DOJ has implemented Horowitz’s earlier recommendations on politically sensitive investigations; if a Durham report issued before the election would comply with department policies; whether Durham has the legal authority to be conducting his probe, including a formal scope memo; and whether Durham is permitted to issue a public report about anyone who hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Senate Democrats sought a similar probe in a letter to Horowitz on Thursday.

Barr has rejected the notion that any findings issued by Durham ahead of the election would inappropriately influence the campaign. He has argued that DOJ practices prohibit such steps but only if they are aimed at candidates themselves or their very close associates.

Barr has publicly indicated that the Durham probe does not contemplate investigating former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden or former President Barack Obama. He has at times publicly characterized potentially explosive findings in Durham’s investigation but has denied that there’s political pressure to move it quickly.

Last week, a top Durham aide and long-serving federal prosecutor, Nora Dannehy, resigned from the DOJ amid a push from the president to publish the results of the probe before the election.

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Ministry of Interior 3 outlines emergency measures for PWA to counter flooding

Ministry of Interior 3 has assigned the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) to prepare a plan to handle heavy floods, flash floods, rainstorms, and mud slides. The Ministry also ordered 234 PWA branches across the country to closely monitor the situation, arrange water disposal measures, clean canals in high-risk areas, and collaborate with public and private sectors to immediately provide water supply to support the public suffering from flooding and related disasters.

Dr. Songsak Thongsri, Deputy Minister of Interior, revealed that Thailand has been severely affected by the northern and upper northeastern monsoons as well as southeastern depression covering the upper part of Gulf of Thailand, triggering flash floods, flood runoff, rainstorms, and mud tides. Therefore, 234  PWA offices across the country have been instructed to closely monitor Yom River, Nan River, and other areas in peril and provide assistance in the form of water drainage and canal dredging, particularly in city areas. He added that in case of heavy rain or flash floods causing disruptions, the public is assured of continuing to have access to clean and safe water supply.  

Mr. Kritsada Sunkhamani, PWA Deputy Governor (Technical Affairs), added that the PWA is committed to providing support to the public and has already coordinated cooperation from public and private sectors to prepare rescue personnel, water supply trucks, and equipment to serve the public immediately and effectively. 

Those seeking water supply assistance, please call PWA Contact Center 1662.

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White House approves emergency funding to Oregon for wildfires, Rep. DeFazio says

The federal government will help cover some of the emergency costs of Oregon’s wildfires, a U.S. lawmaker from Oregon confirmed.

The White House approval of Oregon’s emergency declaration request comes several days after Gov. Kate Brown declared a statewide emergency for wildfires that have caused massive destruction around the state.

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Springfield, said in a news release the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover assistance for temporary housing for those displaced by the fire, as well as additional firefighting resources.

Also on Thursday night, FEMA announced that it had authorized the use of federal funds specifically to help with fighting the fires in Clackamas County Complex Fire. In addition to reimbursement for fighting the fires, more than $629,000 in mitigation assistance will be available to Oregon.

“Oregon is facing an unprecedented crisis, and this decision to declare an emergency comes not a moment too soon,” DeFazio said. “With tens of thousands of Oregonians — who are already dealing with public health concerns and economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic — forced to evacuate their homes, it’s imperative that the state has the resources it needs to provide safe temporary housing for all who need it.”

A spokesperson for DeFazio’s office noted that the declaration does not allot a certain dollar amount to the disasters, but that FEMA will retroactively help cover the economic toll of the disaster. She said she does not know how much of the damage FEMA will cover.—Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; [email protected]; @JRamakrishnanOR

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