Last week, I blogged about the importance of first impressions and how in just milliseconds, someone can make a judgement about you that, if not in your favor, can be a real challenge to overcome.I came across an article this week that further expands on how to make a good first impression by offering 20 things to do, and not to do, when meeting someone for the first time.“Since a first impression is the starting point for meaningful and lasting relationships, it’s imperative to continually hone your communication skills,” writes Andrew Thomas, founder of Skybell Video Doorbell. Here are some suggestions from his list of 20 dos and don’ts: continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The wide man has not played a minute of competitive football for the under-pressure Magpies this season but was recalled to the national side for Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands after an injury to Chris Brunt. The 23-year-old had previously been forced to sit out the win in Hungary last month due to his lack of game time and, with Northern Ireland top of Euro 2016 Group F, he does not want to miss out any longer. Shane Ferguson is ready to leave Newcastle on loan to keep his Northern Ireland prospects alive. The majority of Ferguson’s Northern Ireland career has been spent on the left wing, but he dropped into the back four against the Faroes and is willing to make it a regular thing if it means a starting spot in Michael O’Neill’s side. “I had no concerns about doing the job because I’ve worked very hard in training and I’ve been doing extra sessions to make sure I was ready for Northern Ireland if I got the chance,” he said. “I don’t mind playing left-back, I’ve played there for Newcastle’s first team so it’s something I have in my game. “I wouldn’t mind where I play, if it’s left-back I’d have no hesitation at all. The main thing is to keep my place in the team.” He accepts there is no immediate route back into Alan Pardew’s plans and is hoping to arrange a short-term move elsewhere. Ferguson ended last season at Birmingham, but found himself edged out as they waged a relegation battle. Now all he wants is a regular place on the pitch. “It felt good to get 90 minutes under my belt for Northern Ireland and I just need to get playing now because I want to be playing every international game,” he said. “The atmosphere around the place is great, the mood has been fantastic after the last couple of games and it makes you realise you don’t want to miss any of this. “If I’m honest I’ll probably have to go somewhere else. Alan Pardew has said he’s been impressed with me in training but I’m still young so going out on loan could be a good thing for me. “I don’t want to be sitting doing nothing, I’m not like that. “I got the taste for it again on Saturday night and all I want to do now is be back playing.” Press Association
NEED SUCCESS “We need service for the players … And at the end of our matches we need success. We need our players, the best players, and I hope all our players come in very good (health). But for the team the service must be perfect, it’s very important.” Schäfer said hosting at least a one-week camp will be important. “We want one week before the players go off from the training. We had meeting with CONCACAF and they accepted what we want and we need one week for our players for tactical training, for standards of corners, free kick. It was the same for the (2015) Copa America, (the) players knew what they had to do,” he assessed. At the last two tournaments (Copa America and Gold Cup), monetary squabbles threatened to derail the team and the coach is hoping the federation and players work out all financial arrangements well in advance. “There are two parts; one is the team, the other is the JFF. It is normal for the players coming from clubs to want the best (pay) package, the highest money. In Germany, Britain, Mexico it’s all the same. So before we go to the tournament, five, six weeks before, we are clear. One day before the match I don’t accept this. “For the first match we have to be clear about the bonus arrangement. They need a meeting four weeks before and come to a result of what the JFF can do,” the German added. Schäfer, who attended the draw along with manager Roy Simpson and JFF President, Captain Horace Burrell, said their performances at last year’s Copa America and Gold Cup earned them greater respect outside of the region. “In Chile (Copa), we lost three times one-nil … but now we have more confidence, as the last big tournament gave more confidence to us, and we got more respect from the other teams. All the teams coming to this tournament are very good teams, Jamaica too. We qualified, this is not an invitation. “For us, this is a big tournament, and we are proud as a small island to be in one of the biggest tournaments in the world.” National senior men’s team football head coach, Winfred Schäfer, says the Reggae Boyz aim to excel and make the country proud at this summer’s Copa Centennial football tournament in the United States, as he believes they can qualify for the second round. The Jamaicans were placed in Group C alongside Uruguay, Mexico and Venezuela at the competition’s draw in New York on Sunday and Schäfer argues that with the best players and the right support from the football federation the team can be successful. “Before the (2015) Copa America remember what I told (said) and many people smiled and say ‘coach, what you talk’. I told I want win. I’m not going to the Copa America and Gold Cup for (a) joke,” he said. “The players have to know we can win and not only the players, the JFF too. They (JFF) have to be perfect (with preparation and accommodation) for the first match in Chicago, then to Miami and then to New York,” Schäfer continued.
Wakiso Giants players during training this week (photo by Wakiso Giants Media)FUFA Big LeagueThursday, 01-11-2018Rwenzori Group:-Ntinda United Vs Kireka United – Muteesa II Wankulukuku Stadium-Kiboga Young Vs Water – Bamususutta S.S Playground-Kitara Vs Proline – Kigaya Ground, Hoima-Kansai Plascon Vs Kira United – Bishops S.S playground, Mukono-Kabale Sharp Vs Dove – Kabale Municipal GroundElgon Group:-Bukedea Town Council Vs JMC Hippos – Emokori playground, Bukedea-UPDF Vs Entebbe – Bombo Stadium, Bombo-Amuka Bright Stars Vs Wakiso Giants – Lira P7 Ground, Lira-Doves All Stars Vs Kataka – Green Light Stadium, AruaLIRA – When Wakiso Giants bought off Kamuli Park, their target was to make it to the top tier as soon as possible.After bringing on board a big name in Ibrahim Kirya to take over as coach and also acquiring a host to top players, everyone knew how serious they were.On Thursday afternoon, the team will begin their journey proper when they travel to Lira to take on Amuka Bright Stars on match day one of the FUFA Big League in one of the four games in the Elgon Group.Kirya who will be looked at as a failure if his side does not make it to the top flight at the first time of asking has already stressed how vital a good start can be.“We need to start brightly, said Kirya ahead of the game.“It will be a tough game away to Amuka just like the rest will be so we have to be careful.Wakiso will be without four players on Thursday as Nigerian forward Emmanuel Obina is yet to sort his work permit issues. Geoffrey Lutu is also still working on his license while Eddie Mubiru and Denis Kaweesa are both out injured.The other Elgon match-ups will have Bukedea Town Council host JMN Hippos at Emokori Play Ground. UPDF host Entebbe in Bombo while Katata travel to the Green Light Stadium in Arua to take on Doves All Stars.In the Rwenzori Group, Ntinda United host Kireka United at Wankulukuku, Kiboga Young play host to Water, Proline travel to Kitara, Kansai Plascon entertain Kira United while Dove travel to Mbale to take on Kabale Sharpe.Comments Tags: Amuka Bright Starsfufa big leagueIbrahim KiryatopWakiso Giants
In the wake of an NBA Finals loss, Kevin Durant’s departure and moving into a new arena, the Warriors faced several questions as they opened training camp three weeks ago. Yet, the preseason may have given rise to more questions than answers.Here are the biggest concerns facing the Warriors ahead of the regular-season opener against the Clippers on Thursday.How many points will Steph Curry score per game?The season before Durant’s arrival in the Bay Area, Steph Curry scored 30.1 points per …
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Secret fishing spots are guarded more closely than cherished family recipes. Instead of the corn and soybean markets, they talk about the walleye catch and the perch numbers. Instead of high dollar tractors, they buy bigger, better boats.For the people around Lake Erie, that productive blue green expanse on Ohio’s northern border is their life, food, water, career, heritage, recreation, and home. In short, is sort of like your farm is to you.So, when the people of Lake Erie see their way of life marred by a slick, poisonous green nightmare, it is not something they take lightly. Then they see the convincing (and legitimate) numbers of extensive water quality monitoring pointing squarely to agriculture as a leading culprit. They don’t take that lightly, either.Toxic algae need phosphorus (P) to grow, and while there is still room for debate about the exact contributions of various sources, there is no doubt that agriculture is one of the culprits sending P down the river to the lake — from your farms to theirs.Farmers know that the solutions to this problem are not simple in the fields, but the challenges with the algae on the lake are not simple either. Kelly Frey is the Ottawa County Water Sanitary Engineer and has been at the plant since 1980. Not far along into his time there, he started work to implement a new treatment facility to improve drinking water quality for the residents and the growing number of tourists coming to the county. In 1999 the new, conventional water system was implemented and all seemed well. The system takes water from an intake at the mouth of the Portage River 1,800 feet off shore where it is eight to 10 feet deep.“Then in the last few years comes the algae issue. It clogs everything up and we have to take that out of the water. It creates plant operation problems, increases costs and reduces efficiency and supply,” Frey said. “It clogs filters twice as fast as normal and the extra gallons we thought we had for expansion are now needed to allow extra time and resources for addressing the algae problem. This is creating issues with trying to anticipate what will happen in the future and how we will manage it. The biggest problem we see is on our sand filters. The algae is very fine and hard to filter. The challenge is just dealing with the amounts of algae that we have — trying to deal with the accumulation that is coming into our plant and treat it and be cost effective. Our costs have accelerated and actually doubled in terms of our chemical costs during the algae season.”Costs also have increased in terms of time and safety.“It has slowed down our processes in our plant to the point where we are taking almost twice as long to treat the water so our capacities are down. It is very tedious and there is a lot of room for error,” Frey said. “We are trying to protect public safety by providing the best drinking water we can and assure them that it is safe to drink, but the magnitude is so much more than was ever anticipated when the plant was designed. I think that is true for all of the plants along the lake.”The algae itself is a tremendous problem for water quality, but the mycrocystin toxin it creates are even more challenging.“It is creating a tremendous burden on us being able to treat it and take the toxins out of the water. Part of the toxin removal is through filtration and it is very hard to predict,” he said. “The mycrocystin issue is a real mystery for us. There is no specific guideline as to how to treat this and there is not much history with this. It is not something you can see. Testing is very cumbersome. It takes almost eight hours to get results back and the tests are not always accurate. We do the best we can with that. There is a lot of gray area out there that we have not seen before. We really need more information about the levels and how high they can get.”As his list of water treatment headaches grows, Frey is looking for potential causes of the problem, and targeted solutions.“It is important for Ohio’s farmers to realize the situation that the water industry is in. This is something that is not going away and needs to be addressed. It is affecting everyone here in terms of safety. I appreciate what the farm community is doing and I appreciate the efforts they are making, but I can tell you that the lake is not getting better. The efforts from the farm community and municipalities are good, but they are not enough,” he said. “If it is believed that was is being done is good enough, I can tell you from first hand experience that it is not. We have to do a better job, all of us, in making the water safer and less nutrient loaded to reduce the algae to the point where it is not a threat to our drinking water system. Until this nutrient overload is stopped, this problem will get worse.”And, there is no doubt that agriculture is a significant part of the problem, often blamed for 65% to 85% of the phosphorous flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin from the Maumee River. Tests are being developed to better hone in on the exact source of the P in the water.“There is research coming out on phosphorus fingerprinting so we can track the specific P itself,” said Chris Winslow, interim director of Ohio State University’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie. “Is it coming from manure, septic tank failures, commercial fertilizer, or other human sources? There is potential moving forward that when we find P in the water we can ascertain its actual source.”This tool could be helpful in the ongoing broad effort to reduce to phosphorus loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin — specifically from the Maumee River watershed — by 40% of the levels found in the water in 2008.“We are looking at 2008 because that was one of our wetter years. Typically you only see that amount of rainfall every 10 years or so. There are always extreme weather conditions where you still could see blooms with the kinds of reductions were are looking for, but when we put recommendations in place to manage nutrients, we want to put that nutrient reduction in a situation that is a high rain anomaly. That way if we can do a 40% reduction based on what we saw in that year, in most years — nine times out of 10 — you’ll see a bloom that has fairly low concentrations, like what we saw in 2012,” Winslow said. “The target of a 40% reduction from 2008 concentrations you would see entering the water should reduce scares of the huge toxic events we have been seeing. As the climate changesThe staff at Stone Lab uses this boat to conduct various research projects in Lake Erie.we are seeing more frequent storms, though, and we may discover that looking at 2008 for the 40% reduction levels may not be the benchmark we need.”While P has been the clear focus of water quality improvement efforts, there is growing evidence that nitrogen from agriculture and other sources is also playing a role in the toxic algal blooms in Lake Erie.“We’ve known for a long time that marine systems are limited by nitrogen — N is in the shortest supply in terms of demand for algae growth. Lake Erie is a fresh water system and those are typically P limited. So if you have an algae bloom in fresh water, it is going to be because of an addition of P,” Winslow said. “That said, there are regions in the lake, like Sandusky Bay, that actually need N to trigger some of the growth. Usually when you hear about toxic algae or cyanobacteria in Lake Erie you hear about mycrocystis. In Sandusky Bay, you are dealing with a type of cynaobacteria called planktothrix. N has also come onto the radar recently because it seems like it has the potential to play a role in the toxicity of planktothrix. P is still the major driver for those blooms but now we are seeing that N may play a role in how toxic the algae blooms are. When we say nutrient management we are not just talking about P. There is some indication that we also need to be looking at N, which is a trickier element to worry about.”The research efforts into addressing the problem of the toxic algal blooms are extensive and include the study of algae growth under the ice, algae and the lake ecosystem, and the looking for native critters that actually eat the bad algae. With these and many more facets to this extremely complex problem, there is much work to be done — both on on the farm and on the lake.
DefinitionHammer toe is a deformity of the toe, in which the end of the toe is bent downward.Causes, incidence, and risk factorsHammer toe usually affects the second toe. However, it may also affect the other toes. The toe moves into a claw-like position.The most common cause of hammer toe is wearing short, narrow shoes that are too tight. The toe is forced into a bent position. Muscles and tendons in the toe tighten and become shorter.Hammer toe is more likely to occur in:Women who wear shoes that do not fit well or have high heelsChildren who keep wearing shoes they have outgrownThe condition may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time.In rare cases, all of the toes are affected. This may be caused by a problem with the nerves or spinal cord.SymptomsThe middle joint of the toe is bent. The end part of the toe bends down into a claw-like deformity. At first, you may be able to move and straighten the toe. Over time, you will no longer be able to move the toe. It will be painful.A corn often forms on the top of the toe. A callus is found on the sole of the foot.Walking or wearing shoes can be painful.Signs and testsA physical examination of the foot confirms that you have hammer toe. The health care provider may find decreased and painful movement in the toes.TreatmentMild hammer toe in children can be treated by manipulating and splinting the affected toe.advertisementThe following changes in footwear may help relieve symptoms:Wear the right size shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes for comfort, and to avoid making hammer toe worse.Avoid high heels as much as possible.Wear soft insoles to relieve pressure on the toe.Protect the joint that is sticking out with corn pads or felt padsA foot doctor can make foot devices called hammer toe regulators or straighteners for you, or you can buy them at the store.Exercises may be helpful. You can try gentle stretching exercises if the toe is not already in a fixed position. PIcking up a towel with your toes can help stretch and straighten the small muscles in the foot.For severe hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint.The surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments.Sometimes the bones on each side of the joint need to be connected (fused) together.Most of the time, you will go home on the same day as the surgery. The toe may still be stiff afterward, and it may be shorter.Expectations (prognosis)If the condition is treated early, you can often avoid surgery. Treatment will reduce pain and walking difficulty.Calling your health care providerIf you have hammer toe, call for an appointment with your health care provider:If you develop thick blisters or corns on your toesIf your pain gets worseIf you have difficulty walkingPreventionAvoid wearing shoes that are too short or narrow. Check childrens shoe sizes often, especially during periods of fast growth.ReferencesKrug RJ, Lee EH, Dugan S, Mashey K. Hammer toe. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr., eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 82.Ishikawa SN, Murphy GA. Lesser toe abnormalities. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbells Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia,Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 80.Review Date:8/11/2012Reviewed By:David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc. C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Premier League trio eyeing Espanyol striker Borja Iglesiasby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveA raft of Premier League clubs are eyeing Espanyol striker Borja Iglesias.La Vanguardia says Leicester City, Wolves and Crystal Palace are all keen on the forward.Iglesias’ contract carries a €28m buyout clause.For now, Espanyol are yet to field any offers for Iglesias, though are aware of the English speculation.Espanyol’s record transfer is €20m for Gerard Moreno when he was sold to Villarreal.
EVERETT, Wash. – This is the lesson that the working-class city of Everett has learned: It takes a community to rescue the hardcore homeless.It takes teams of outreach workers — building relationships with men and women struggling with addiction or untreated mental illness, prodding them to get help. It takes police and other agencies, working together to provide for their needs.And it takes a prosecutor who was tired of managing the unending cycle of homelessness — jail-street-jail-street-jail. Hil Kaman left his job prosecuting the homeless and took up the challenge of finding solutions. For starters, he helped put together a team that would track the 25 most costly and vulnerable cases, and hover over each one individually until he or she was in treatment or housing.“It was when everything else seems to have failed,” said Kaman, who became the city’s public health and safety director 17 months ago.“They’ll bring someone to jail several hundred times, bring someone to the emergency department dozens of times — the (people) resistant to treatment and other alternatives. It was a call to say, ‘Isn’t there anything else that we could do?’”In two years, Everett’s specialized team has found some form of housing for 14 chronically homeless people on its by-name list. The city’s newly formed community outreach enforcement team has gotten more than two dozen people into long-term treatment, primarily using beds paid through a partnership with a non-profit that helps officers deal with the opioid crisis. The city also set up a flex fund that accepts private donations to help pay for motel rooms, bus tickets and other costs.It’s among an array of strategies the city has tried. There is still much work to do: Everett, a city of 110,000 north of Seattle hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, and surrounding Snohomish County saw a 65 per cent jump in people living outside between 2015 and 2017 — one of the largest increases on the West Coast in that period, according to a one-night count earlier this year.The number of unsheltered chronically homeless — those who have been homeless for longer than a year while struggling with a serious mental illness, substance use disorder or physical disability — has grown steadily in the Everett region, more than doubling since 2015. That’s even as the city and county added more supportive housing.Kaman and others say a combination of the opioid epidemic, poverty, lack of unskilled jobs, rising rents, and a shortage of affordable housing have made it even harder for those who fall into homelessness to get out.The problem is not limited to Everett; up and down the West Coast, the high cost of housing has forced thousands of people to live on the streets, a trend that opioids have exacerbated.“These are expensive places to live. It’s expensive for everybody. But the burden falls the hardest on people with the biggest problems,” said Steve Berg, vice-president for programs and policy with the National Alliance to End Homelessness.___In 2011, roughly one in every five opioid-related deaths in Washington state took place in this county. That was the peak, but heroin deaths remain high and deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are climbing. Last month, county officials partially activated its emergency co-ordinationcentre, typically used for natural disasters, to respond to the opioid crisis. So far this year, health officials have collected 2 million discarded needles.In this former lumber town on scenic Puget Sound, where thousands of workers assemble the newest Boeing airplanes, the crisis had become so dire that this year Everett city officials became among the first to sue the manufacturer of the painkiller OxyContin. The city blames Purdue Pharma for an addiction crisis that has overwhelmed city resources and deepened its homelessness problem.Kaman joined the city’s mayor, police chief, city council members and others who drove to Seattle in September for the city’s successful argument that a federal judge allow its lawsuit against the drug manufacturer to proceed.While that case works through the court, social workers and police officers are fanning out to find people camping under the freeway or living in RVs or the woods and try to connect them to services. Many of them initially deflect treatment, or are too ill to even know they need aid.James McGee, a heroin addict who was living in his minivan on the streets, was among those who got help.The 27-year-old started popping OxyContin prescription pills after a shoulder surgery. When the drug manufacturer changed its formula, he switched to cheaper heroin. He first told himself he would never shoot up. Then he did.“You draw that line, tell yourself you’re not going to pass that, and the next thing, you do,” McGee said. “Then you keep going and going. Before I know it, I’m sticking needles in my body, doing heroin and meth every day.”He eventually lost his job at Costco and his apartment. Shortly after overdosing in the parking lot this summer — and being revived by someone who had overdose-reversal spray at hand — McGee walked into a police station and pleaded for help. Kaitlyn Dowd, a social worker embedded with Everett police, helped connect him to treatment about 100 miles away.Now he’s living in sober housing, more than 90 days clean, working a construction job and attending as many recovery meetings as possible. “I never thought I would taste recovery like this,” he said. “Everyone deserves a second chance.”___For every person who finds a treatment bed or permanent supportive housing, many more wait. Until this summer, when a second facility opened, the county had only 16 publicly funded detox beds for its 785,000 residents. Many must go out of the county, or even state, to find beds.Experts say lack of on-demand treatment and a shortage of appropriate housing to meet specific needs are among the biggest barriers to helping people off the streets. Without permanent housing, advocates and city officials say the homeless will end up back on the street after completing their treatment, repeating the cycle.Kaman said the city has been moving the chronically homeless into private rental units using vouchers, but the region’s low vacancy rate makes that much more challenging.That’s part of the reason Everett is pushing ahead with a low-barrier permanent supportive housing project on city land. The project with Catholic Housing Services will house 65 chronically homeless people without first requiring they be addiction-free or deal with other issues. Residents will have access to mental health, recovery and other services and around-the-clock on-site staff.Studies have found that such housing can save taxpayer money when compared to the costs of serving chronically homeless in emergency rooms, shelters and jails.But so many chronically homeless people in the Everett region are on the waitlist for housing that those units will fill up when it opens in 2019.“Housing is as, if not more, important than any medication” or other services, said Tom Sebastian, CEO of Compass Health, Snohomish County’s largest behavioural health provider.His agency is developing an 84-unit housing project for mentally ill and addicted homeless on a vacant lot in downtown Everett.Compass Health doesn’t typically develop housing, but “because there’s that shortage, we feel a driving sense to step into that breach to do something to help solve that problem,” Sebastian said.For those who can get housing and services, stability can be a lifeline.Garrick Heller, 35, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, said he would be on the streets otherwise.Several years ago, he was involuntary civilly committed because he posed a danger to himself or others. He spent time on the streets, in shelters and eventually at a locked psychiatric facility run by Compass Health. Over time, he gradually moved into more independent living situations run by Compass Health.Now he lives in a small studio apartment, where he sleeps on an air mattress. He gets mental health counselling and other services within blocks of his home. A service helps him pay his bills and rent, which is one-third of the $735 he gets in monthly disability payment.Heller said he regularly takes his medication and works hard each day to stick to his treatment plan. He plans on looking for a job soon and wants to pass his GED.“Getting myself back to normal — that took a long time,” he said. “I’m determined to get better.”___Finding solutions to homelessness is expensive. Voters in the city and county of Los Angeles since last year have passed a pair of ballot initiatives that will raise about $4.7 billion over the next decade to pay for thousands of affordable housing units and homeless services.In May, a non-profit pledged $100 million to help San Francisco cut its number of chronically homeless in half in five years by creating more permanent housing and increasing mental health services.In Sacramento, where the number of people living on the streets has soared 116 per cent over the past two years, the city and county last month agreed to spend tens of millions of dollars to co-ordinate services for those with mental illness and substance abuse problems. Steering them toward permanent housing is a cornerstone of the new effort.And last month, King County, which includes Seattle, partnered with the Ballmer Group and others in a new program that will pay incentives to agencies that provide outpatient treatment on demand.The hardcore homeless represent a major financial burden on Everett, putting pressure on the jail, emergency room and other services. In one extreme example, officials estimated one person used about $500,000 in such resources in one year. Another homeless man spent 800 nights in jail over eight years for trespassing and other nuisance crimes.Hard cases resist easy solutions, but Everett’s team persists.Teams try to serve people where they are — in streets, in the woods or under freeways. Volunteers with The Hand Up Project — many of whom are recently homeless and recovering addicts — have been hitting familiar haunts to find others who might be ready for recovery.One rainy day, they found 34-year-old Robart Blocher living high up in the trees in a two-story fort he built out of discarded materials. He is addicted to meth, he said, and suffers from social anxiety disorder and other mental health issues, making it hard for him to go to places and seek help.He used to make $14.50 an hour as a chef until his addiction, a series of bad choices and medical issues forced him to find shelter in the woods. He had been living in a basement apartment, but got kicked out when his roommate died. Then he moved into a trailer and couch surfed. He eventually lost his job.A recent report found there is nowhere nearby where someone working a full-time minimum-wage job could afford an apartment that was not subsidized or shared with others, and that’s Blocher’s experience: “Nowadays, no way,” he said.When the outreach team approached Blocher, offering to help him into treatment, he seemed receptive. He said he needed a mental health evaluation — but he had to deal with other stuff first.The volunteers back off, for now. They will return.___In the past, Hil Kaman had prosecuted 38-year-old Joshua Rape. For years, his life has been a revolving door of jail stints, shelters and couches, and street-wanderings.A specialized team of mental health professionals, housing and recovery experts, social workers, jail staff and officers worked to build a relationship with him. There were times when he’d tell them he wanted to get better but then he would disappear: “I was pretty evasive and elusive,” Rape recalled.Opioid outreach specialist Amy Austin kept after him.“She was all over me,” he said, recalling how she went searching for him a year ago when he missed an appointment after relapsing.“I just wanted him to know that he could always come and find me,” she said.When he decided in jail this fall that he was ready for treatment, the team got him into a motel until a slot opened up. They took turns checking in daily as he waited more than a week for a treatment bed. In October, they drove him to catch a bus to the recovery centre 200 miles away.“We’ve all been counting down the days until he’s been ready. We’ve tried so hard to get him engaged,” said Dowd, the social worker. “We’ve known him for a long time. We all want to see him being successful.”Now he’s back in Everett, having wrapped up 30 days of inpatient treatment. He goes to outpatient treatment and recovery meetings several times a week.For the first time, the man who has been homeless for six years will have his own place — a one-bedroom apartment that he’ll move into this month, using a housing voucher.“I had to make multiple attempts at doing this,” he said. “But it’s working out. It can be done. You have to work for it.”___This story has been corrected to show Everett was among the first cities to sue OxyContin’s maker.___Associated Press writer Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this report.
PEACE RIVER, AB. – The Peace River RCMP General Investigation Section with the help of the Peace Regional detachment seized drugs, firearms, cash and stolen property from an apartment unit last week.According to Cpl. Dave Browne, on March 9th, 2018, officers executed a search warrant at an apartment unit during which they discovered and seized cocaine, numerous firearms including a sawed-off shotgun, over $1,000 in suspected proceeds of crime and stolen property including cheques and credit cards.As a result, 37-year-old David John Testawich and 29-year-old Charmaine Ominayak, both of Peace River, have been charged with the following offences: Possession of a controlled substanceUnauthorized possession of a prohibited weaponUnsafe storage of firearmsPossession of a stolen credit cardPossession of property obtained by crime under $5,000Possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000Testawich remains in custody pending his first appearance in Peace River provincial court on March 12th, while Ominayak is scheduled to appear in provincial court on April 9th.If you have any information about this or any other crime, please call the Peace Regional RCMP at (780) 624-6611, or call your local police detachment. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or by internet at www.tipsubmit.com.