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Golf – Europe braces for ‘close to zero’ support for Solheim Cup | The powerful 790 KFGO

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By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – Winning a Solheim Cup in enemy territory has always been a tall order, but restrictions on some travelers to the United States due to COVID-19 will magnify the task at hand, members of the US said on Wednesday. European team.

Unlike previous editions of the biennial women’s team event between Europe and the United States which drew enthusiastic supporters from both teams, the Solheim Cup September 4-6 in Toledo, Ohio will increase the home advantage of the Americans.

“We’re just going to have to come to terms with the fact that we don’t know if there will be fans other than people who are important to us,” Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist told reporters at Inverness Club.

“But we did meet and I think that’s the most important.”

Europe are the reigning champions after winning the 2019 event in Scotland. The United States holds a 10-6 lead in the Solheim Cup competition.

There were only four occasions when the visiting team won. Europe’s only road victory came in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club.

“The fact that we’ve only won once in Colorado shows how difficult it is to win away from home,” said European captain Catriona Matthew.

“Obviously this year will be more difficult and more difficult for us, but I think in a way we can do it. Rather than just thinking that we’re going to have a few fans, we really expect… almost zero fans.

“A few Europeans who may be living in the United States can make it here, but it certainly won’t be the same presence we normally have in an away game.”

Madelene Sagstrom, who is playing her second Solheim Cup, said her team would be eager to silence American fans.

“From the perspective of the fans and where we are from, I think we’re more of that, maybe that underdog playing on American soil,” Sagstrom said.

“But we’re already talking about it, we know what to expect and we’re going to give them something to shut up, that’s for sure.”

(Report by Frank Pingue in Toronto, edited by Ed Osmond)


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Fleet owners step up efforts to spot drivers impaired by marijuana use

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As more states legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana, commercial fleet operators across the country are stepping up their training on reasonable suspicion to manage the risk of drivers operating vehicles under the influence of marijuana. drugs, according to experts.

Thirty-six states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana in one form or another. However, it remains illegal at the federal level and subject to the testing requirements of the United States Department of Transportation for commercial driver’s license holders.

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – which began collecting data on positive drug tests from CDL license holders as of January 6, 2020 – shows that out of 80,000 tests for The blood alcohol and drug levels failed since then, more than half were due to positive results for marijuana metabolites.

“Right now, with the shortage of drivers … every time a driver tests positive for a substance it’s a huge blow,” said John Simms, senior risk advisor based in Inverness, in the Illinois, at HNI Truck Group, an Acrisure LLC Company.

The clearinghouse requires CDL drivers and their employers to report positive blood alcohol and drug tests and requires employers to use the clearinghouse to identify whether drivers being considered for hire have had a drug or alcohol related offense in the past three years.

“It’s the cognitive functioning of the driver that concerns us the most,” said Ryan Pietzsch, technical consultant for the Mechanicsburg, Pa. Driver safety program at the National Safety Council. “When you talk about utility vehicles, CDL drivers, these vehicles weigh over 26,000 pounds. They are major destroyers.

While the majority of failed drug tests for drug addiction are pre-employment tests, most failed blood alcohol tests are random, followed by testing due to reasonable suspicion of intoxication, the data shows. of the 2020 clearinghouse.

There have also been “dramatic increases” in the number of incidents in which a driver is under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol, said Clair Stroer, program manager in impaired driving practice. at the NSC.

Many fleets are “really stepping up their training on reasonable suspicion for supervisors,” said Darren Beard, Kansas City, Missouri-based senior loss control consultant at Lockton Cos. LLC.

As CDL regulations require fleet supervisors to receive 120 minutes of training on symptoms of alcohol or controlled substance use, more and more companies are stepping up efforts to enable supervisors to ‘Identify potential signs of impairment both in person and over the phone, he said. .

“It’s really to manage risk; it’s not so much about whether they smoked marijuana three weeks ago, ”Mr. Beard said, adding that companies“ are focusing on the impaired aspect to protect not only their liability, but also the automotive public ”.

Store supervisors can play a key role in identifying deficiencies. “When drivers aren’t driving, this is where they hang out,” Mr. Simms said. Management should “have weekly conversations about the drug and alcohol environment that exists in the world” and “make a point of having one-to-one conversations (with drivers)”.

Fleet employers are also increasing their education about marijuana and making sure drivers understand that CBD, which is not regulated, may contain THC which could result in a positive drug test, he said. declared.

“CBD products are often the culprits (behind positive marijuana tests) because the majority of drivers think it’s okay to take these drugs,” said Chris Eastly, Pittsburgh vice president and senior consultant in risks at Hub International Ltd. He encourages companies to do more than just distribute DOT’s mandatory drug and alcohol education information and hold “emergency conversations” to make sure drivers understand the policies.

And while some might speculate that states with more liberal marijuana laws would see higher levels of drivers testing positive for drugs, this is not the case, according to the clearinghouse. Texas has the highest number of CDL drivers with positive drug tests, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

Although Texas has a large population, it also has “probably one of the most restrictive marijuana programs,” Beard said. “I don’t necessarily think you can draw a conclusion from the data at this point, (but) when you look at the people of Colorado” who are 18th in positive drug tests and where recreational marijuana is legal “it is far from proportion. ”

The concern is different for fleets that do not require drivers to have a CDL and therefore are not subject to drug testing regulations under federal law. Identifying marijuana use is even more important to these businesses because of its scale, Mr. Beard said.

“Many of our unregulated fleet employers are faced with tough decisions about either eliminating marijuana from their drug-free testing program or completely eliminating drug testing just to get candidates through the door.” , did he declare.


Truck fleet operators, facing a particularly tight labor market, are looking for ways to retain skilled drivers who may have failed a drug test, experts say.

“Finding qualified drivers is number 1 – it’s always been and continues to be a struggle today,” said Darren Beard, senior loss control consultant based in Kansas City, Missouri at Lockton Cos. LLC. According to the American Trucking Association, the turnover rate of drivers for major carriers was on average 90% in 2020.

In an effort to retain good drivers who may have failed a drug test, some fleets are creating self-admission policies to allow drivers to recognize their problems and seek help through channels. appropriate without negative implications, Beard said.

“Not all employers necessarily had this in their program before, but at this point, with such a shortage of CDL drivers, people are taking a look,” he said.

Some companies are considering strengthening their employee assistance programs or providing access to drug addiction professionals to retain good drivers with positive test results, said Nina French, president of solutions for employers and forces. order from Hound Labs Inc., a biotechnology company based in Oakland, Calif., which has developed technology to detect marijuana impairment.

While most fleets will generally “hand the driver some referral information” while terminating their employment if they test positive for drugs or alcohol, the scarcity of drivers may prompt them to consider alternatives, a said Chris Eastly, Pittsburgh-based vice president and senior risk consultant at Hub International Ltd.

“Maybe (the fleet management company) had better readjust and keep someone on the payroll and behind the wheel,” he said.


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5 things to know for the United States against Europe in Inverness

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Organizers expect around 150,000 people to attend this week’s Solheim Cup, but with the pandemic underway, there won’t be many fans on the European side. Not even for gamers.

“It is unfortunate that none of our families are here to share this experience,” said European veteran Anna Nordqvist. “The Solheim Cup is a very big moment for me and my family. They come to dress and this is one of the few tournaments they can all participate in. So it will be difficult for all of us and especially for those who cannot share this first experience with their families or close friends who really want to be here.

Golfers on the 10th hole in the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Club. (Photo: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)

European captain Catriona Matthew tweeted that her home club, North Berwick, Scotland, will stay open late so members can watch the Solheim on TV together.

“Rather than just thinking that we’re going to have a few fans,” Matthew said, “we really expect very, I mean, basically a few fans. Obviously, a few Europeans who maybe live in the United States can. get here, but it certainly won’t be the same presence we normally have in an away game.

“But I think the players are going to be mentally prepared, so I think that gives them just another challenge and something else to try to overcome and get that victory.”


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Europe braces for ‘almost zero’ support for Solheim Cup

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Golf – AIG Women’s Open – Carnoustie, Scotland, Great Britain – August 21, 2021 Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist reacts in the third round Action Images via Reuters / Craig Brough

September 1 (Reuters) – Winning a Solheim Cup in enemy territory has always been a tall order, but restrictions on some travelers to the United States due to COVID-19 will magnify the task at hand, members said on Wednesday of the European team.

Unlike previous editions of the biennial women’s team event between Europe and the United States which drew enthusiastic supporters from both teams, the Solheim Cup September 4-6 in Toledo, Ohio will increase the home advantage. American women.

“We’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that we don’t know if there will be fans other than other people important to us,” Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist told reporters at Inverness Club.

“But we did meet and I think that’s the most important.”

Europe are the reigning champions after winning the 2019 event in Scotland. The United States holds a 10-6 lead in the Solheim Cup competition.

There were only four occasions when the visiting team won. Europe’s only road victory came in 2013 at Colorado Golf Club.

“The fact that we’ve only won once in Colorado shows how difficult it is to win away from home,” said European captain Catriona Matthew.

“Obviously this year it’s going to be harder and more of a challenge for us, but I think somehow we can get there. Rather than just thinking we’re going to have a few fans, we’re kind of waiting. really … about zero fans.

“A few Europeans who may be living in the United States can make it here, but it certainly won’t be the same presence we normally have in an away game.”

Madelene Sagstrom, who is playing her second Solheim Cup, said her team would be eager to silence American fans.

“From the perspective of the fans and where we are from, I think we’re more of that, maybe that underdog playing on American soil,” Sagstrom said.

“But we’re already talking about it, we know what to expect and we’re going to give them something to shut up, that’s for sure.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Exhilarating outdoor experiences for intrepid travelers

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There are basically two types of vacations. Passive vacations involve lounging by the pool at a resort or lying on a sunny beach all day. On the other hand, active vacations are designed for intrepid travelers who love adventure. Couch potatoes do not need to be applied. These outdoor adventures are sure to maximize your thrill meter and include adrenaline-pumping activities like kitesurfing at Walnut oil berry in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. The experience is available with all levels of instruction and boat support and includes kite equipment with radio headset, beach launch, body drag, kite control and board. Here are some of the world’s most exhilarating outdoor experiences for intrepid travelers seeking adventure.

Helicopter fishing at Cabot Cape Breton, Inverness, Nova Scotia

Cabot Cape Breton is known as a must-see destination thanks to its spectacular setting atop majestic cliffs. The resort features a charming 72-room lodge with ocean views from every room, three exquisite restaurants featuring the world’s freshest seafood and 36-hole world-class golf course. Located on over a mile of sandy beach near the world-famous Cabot Trail, the resort is the perfect island escape for social distancing and outdoor adventures. A helicopter fishing experience takes adventurous guests on a private excursion in search of the elusive Atlantic salmon on the famous Margaree River.

Pink Jeep Adventure, Hilton Sedona Hotel in Bell Rock, Sedona, Arizona

Home to over 200 scenic red rock trails, Sedona is a famous destination known for its outdoor adventures and thrill-seeking activities. The Hilton Sedona Pink Jeep Adventure Package combines adrenaline and premium amenities to give travelers an unforgettable experience amid the Red Rocks. Package includes two night stay, $ 50 daily meal credit, and Diamondback Gulch Pink jeep tour. Get ready for the thrill and hang in there as you journey to awe-inspiring rock formations like Thunder Mountain, hurtle down bumpy trails, and head to Diamondback Gulch Ravine.

Rainforest zipline liner, The Landing Resort and Spa, St. LUCIA

Nestled on the shores of Rodney Bay, along one of St. Lucia’s most famous beaches, the Landings Resort and Spa and its villas create a bespoke retreat – many with private plunge pools – overlooking turquoise waters of the Caribbean and 800 feet of white sand beaches. All stays include unlimited use of glass bottom kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling gear. Bookable through the resort’s concierge service, St. Lucia’s adventures include a zipline through the rainforest and a guided hike to St. Lucia’s iconic volcanic spiers, Gros Piton, and Petit Piton.

Kayak, Matachica Resort & Spa, Belize

The isolated nation of Central America spans just under 9,000 square miles of turquoise waters, impressive Mayan ruins and the second largest barrier reef in the world surrounded by lush rainforest. In a new private jet package with evoJets, guests experience round-trip flights, accommodation at Matachica Resort Belize, an interactive workshop to learn about the Belize Barrier Reef with refreshments and private snorkeling and more. In addition to all the amenities, guests will enjoy free use of kayaks in the surrounding crystal clear waters.

Seaplane Fishing Adventure, Salmon Falls Resort, Ketchikan, Alaska

Located at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s iconic Inside Passage, Ketchikan is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World”. Salmon Falls Resort is a favorite destination for experienced and novice anglers alike thanks to its scenic surroundings, warm ocean currents and epic annual King and Silver Salmon races. Guests should not miss the Misty Fjords seaplane flight experience. Board a seaplane from the dock to visit Misty Fjords National Monument, surrounding lakes and glacial bays. Land on a mountain lake in a saltwater fjord and take in the colossal beauty before returning home. Guests can also book a seaplane fishing adventure and enjoy a scenic charter flight and land in remote locations to enjoy a one-of-a-kind guided fishing experience.

Swimming with whale sharks, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Thrill the adventure seeker in you with an itinerary precisely designed by your personal concierge, like swimming with whale sharks. Topping bucket lists everywhere, the resort offers close encounters with the gentlest of ocean giants. With a length of 12 meters, whale sharks are the largest fish in the world and are completely harmless to humans thanks to their exclusive diet of microscopic plankton. Embark on a panga boat bound for La Paz in the calm blue waters and search for your new swimming partners as they glide close to the surface, mouths wide open like a vacuum cleaner, filtering food from the water.

Off Road Adventure, Hôtel Jérôme, Auberge Resorts Collection + Madeleine Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, Aspen and telluride, Colorado

The mountains are calling. Spend time at the Jerome Hotel in Aspen and the newly transformed Madeline Hotel & Residences in Telluride with a true adrenaline-inducing off-road adventure along the way. This new experience gives guests the option to take the road less traveled and explore the best of the Rockies from Aspen to Telluride, or vice versa, on a guided off-road full-day tour with a picnic. private picnic prepared by a chef. , favorite scenic stops along the way, and stays at both properties. Guests receive a leather adventure journal to document their findings which will be personalized with their own initials.


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Fleet owners step up efforts to identify drivers impaired by marijuana use

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As more states legalize or decriminalize the use of marijuana, commercial fleet operators across the country are stepping up their training on reasonable suspicion to manage the risk of drivers operating vehicles under the influence of marijuana. drugs, according to experts.

Thirty-six states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana in one form or another. However, it remains illegal at the federal level and subject to the testing requirements of the United States Department of Transportation for commercial driver’s license holders.

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – which began collecting data on positive drug tests from CDL license holders as of January 6, 2020 – shows that out of 80,000 tests for The blood alcohol and drug levels failed since then, more than half were due to positive results for marijuana metabolites.

“Right now, with the shortage of drivers … every time a driver tests positive for a substance it’s a huge blow,” said John Simms, senior risk advisor based in Inverness, in Illinois, at HNI Truck Group, an Acrisure LLC company.

The clearinghouse requires CDL drivers and their employers to report positive blood alcohol and drug tests and requires employers to use the clearinghouse to identify whether drivers being considered for hire have had a related infraction drugs or alcohol in the past three years.

“It’s the cognitive functioning of the driver that concerns us the most,” said Ryan Pietzsch, technical consultant for the Mechanicsburg, Pa. Driver safety program at the National Safety Council. “When you talk about utility vehicles, CDL drivers, these vehicles weigh over 26,000 pounds. They are major destroyers.

While the majority of failed drug tests for drug addiction are pre-employment tests, most failed blood alcohol tests are random, followed by testing due to reasonable suspicion of intoxication, according to data from the clearinghouse for 2020.

There have also been “dramatic increases” in incidents in which a driver is under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol, said Clair Stroer, program manager in impaired driving practice at NSC.

Many fleets are “really stepping up their training on reasonable suspicion for supervisors,” said Darren Beard, senior loss control consultant based in Kansas City, Missouri at Lockton Cos. LLC.

As CDL regulations require fleet supervisors to receive 120 minutes of training on symptoms of alcoholism or controlled substance use, more and more companies are stepping up efforts to enable supervisors to ‘Identify potential signs of impairment both in person and over the phone, he said. .

“It’s really to manage the risk; it’s not so much about whether they smoked marijuana three weeks ago, ”Beard said, adding that companies“ are focusing on the impaired aspect to protect not only their liability, but also the automotive public ”.

Store supervisors can play a key role in identifying deficiencies. “When drivers aren’t driving, this is where they hang out,” Mr. Simms said. Management should “have weekly conversations about the drug and alcohol environment that exists in the world” and “make a point of having one-to-one conversations (with drivers)” .

Fleet employers are also increasing their education about marijuana and making sure drivers understand that CBD, which is not regulated, may contain THC which could result in a positive drug test, he said. declared.

“CBD products are often the culprits (behind positive marijuana tests) because the majority of drivers think it’s okay to take these drugs,” said Chris Eastly, Pittsburgh vice president and senior consultant in risks at Hub International Ltd. He encourages companies to do more than just distribute DOT’s mandatory drug and alcohol education information and hold “emergency conversations” to make sure drivers understand the policies.

And while some might speculate that states with more liberal marijuana laws would see higher levels of drivers testing positive for drugs, this is not the case, according to the clearinghouse. Texas has the highest number of CDL drivers with positive drug tests, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

Although Texas has a large population, it also has “probably one of the most restrictive marijuana programs,” Beard said. “I don’t necessarily think you can draw a conclusion from the data at this point, (but) when you look at the people of Colorado” who are 18th in positive drug tests and where recreational marijuana is legal “it is far from proportion. ”

The concern is different for fleets that do not require drivers to have a CDL and therefore are not subject to drug testing regulations under federal law. Identifying marijuana use is even more important to these businesses because of its scale, Mr. Beard said.

“Many of our employers in unregulated fleets are faced with tough decisions about either eliminating marijuana from their drug-free testing program or completely eliminating drug testing just to get candidates through the door.” , did he declare.


Truck fleet operators, facing a particularly tight labor market, are looking for ways to retain skilled drivers who may have failed a drug test, experts say.

“Finding qualified drivers is number 1 – it’s always been and continues to be a struggle today,” said Darren Beard, senior loss control consultant based in Kansas City, Missouri at Lockton Cos. LLC. According to the American Trucking Association, the turnover rate of drivers for major carriers was on average 90% in 2020.

In an effort to retain good drivers who may have failed a drug test, some fleets are creating self-admission policies to allow drivers to recognize their issues and seek help through channels. appropriate without negative implications, Beard said.

“Not all employers necessarily had this in their program before, but at this point, with such a shortage of CDL drivers, people are taking a look,” he said.

Some companies are considering stepping up their employee assistance programs or providing access to addiction professionals to retain good drivers with positive test results, said Nina French, president of solutions for employers and forces. order from Hound Labs Inc., a biotechnology company based in Oakland, Calif., which has developed technology to detect marijuana impairment.

While most fleets will generally “hand the driver some referral information” while terminating their employment if they test positive for drugs or alcohol, the scarcity of drivers may prompt them to consider alternatives, a said Chris Eastly, Pittsburgh-based vice president and senior risk consultant at Hub International Ltd.

“Maybe (the fleet management company) had better readjust and keep someone on the payroll and behind the wheel,” he said.


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Whistleblower says Badenoch and Strathspey find themselves without emergency ambulance cover every week

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Aviemore’s ambulance station which went from on-call duty to shift work earlier this year.

A whistleblower said the strath was routinely left without ambulance cover as teams cover staff shortages in Inverness and it is pure luck that has not yet had a serious impact.

The well-placed contact told the Strathy: “Staff shortages are really hitting the house and we’re dangerously short of coverage.

“We struggled but managed to get by but once Inverness started to run low on staff as well it really brought home how bad the situation is.

“We have been very fortunate that there has been no life or death situation so far when there has been no coverage, but the concern is that if this continues the potential is there for a tragedy. “

The individual said in recent months Aviemore and Kingussie staff have been called in to Inverness to cover eight and 12 hour shifts and not just one-off jobs as in the past.

The source said: “Inverness was seen as a priority not only over Badenoch and Strathspey, but also over other outlying areas.

“It’s been happening locally since last December, but more recently it’s become almost weekly.

“The Grantown staff have to cover the stint as best they can, but they are regularly transferred to Tomintoul, Forres and Elgin.

This, it has been claimed, is occurring as the stratum is already understaffed for paramedics and technicians.

Aviemore’s station transitioned from the controversial on-call system to a 24/7 shift model in February, which was well received to improve safety for both local residents and staff.

However, the Scottish Ambulance Service’s lack of staff to operate the system means that it is currently adding additional pressure on overworked staff. Three staff members are said to be on sick leave.

The situation was made worse by delayed admissions to the region’s main hospital due to Covid-19 protocols.

The whistleblower said: ‘I have never seen it as serious as this and it is made worse by the delays in admitting to Raigmore and other hospitals due to the Covid-19 procedures.

“There is usually a wait of at least two and a half hours outside the hospital to enter.”

Citing a recent example, the individual said: “A member of Kingussie staff stopped to work in Inverness; Aviemore got an emergency call in Kingussie and the Grantown team were stranded outside of Raigmore Hospital for four and a half hours, meaning there was no coverage in the entire stratum for a good number of hours.

“The closest available ambulance could have been in Pitlochry, Perth, Fort William or even Thurso. Fortunately so far nothing has been catastrophic but it could happen.

“A victim of a local heart attack could wait an hour or even more for an ambulance.”

It is understood that Aviemore was without immediate coverage from Monday evening to Wednesday evening.

Some upgrades are underway with several staff in training, but they should not be able to be in service until the end of this year.

There is also some sympathy for the SAS over recruitment difficulties caused by the lack of local affordable housing and Central Belt probationers returning to the south after local training.

There is a mix of paramedics and technicians in the strath with four employees in Kingussie, nine in Aviemore and six in Grantown.

The individual estimated that about 40% of the time, local ambulances are now single-crew, which means the crew member has to wait for reinforcements. A single-crew ambulance cannot transport a patient to hospital.

The whistleblower estimates that a total of six additional people are needed for good coverage.

There is an ambulance in Kingussie, Aviemore and Grantown.

Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes urged SAS and NHS Highland to investigate the allegations.

She said: “While I recognize that major emergencies are beyond everyone’s control, Aviemore or Kingussie crews shouldn’t systematically cover Inverness shifts and keep the strath short.

“Having recently visited the site of the new Aviemore hospital, I was extremely impressed with the facilities and the desire for health care to be as local as possible – and of course that also includes ambulance blanket.”

A spokesperson for the ambulance service denied Inverness was a priority. He said: “The SAS is a national service and ambulances are not limited by geographic area in their tasks.

“At no time were Badenoch and Strathspey left without emergency coverage due to staff scheduled to cover shifts in Inverness.

“Staff working conditions and coverage in the strath have been improved with the successful elimination of on-call work at the Aviemore ambulance station, with four additional posts allowing the station to upgrade to 24-hour coverage. time.

“Three new employees have also been recruited for Kingussie.

“We continue to recruit at a steady pace for the Badenoch and Strathspey area to complement our existing staff who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months and continue to work flexibly to support our new hires throughout their career. learning.

“Investment in new ambulances and the latest equipment is progressing along with plans to move into the new Aviemore hospital, which will further benefit the community and enhance our integrated work with health and service partners. social. “


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Kilmarnock goalkeeper Zach Hemming highlights Paul Stephenson and Tommy Wright’s influence as he praises a whirlwind start

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Zach Hemming admits that working under Tommy Wright and Paul Stephenson is great for his career.

The 21-year-old shooter is on loan from Middlesbrough and says he enjoys life in Kilmarnock so far.

His team lead the league after three games and he is yet to concede a goal as they prepare to play at Inverness Caledonian Thistle today.

And he says working with former Guardians Wright and Stephenson, whom he knows well thanks to Boro and Blyth Spartans, could do wonders for him.

He said: “When I got the call to come here, Stevo called me and asked me what I thought. He said good things about Scottish football.

“I thought, yeah, I’m going to go up and try, and he’s the one who influenced me to come here.

“I have a lot of respect for him. We were in Blyth together and in Middlesbrough together.

“Middlesbrough was probably better than Blyth because we didn’t do very well.



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Zachary Hemming from Kilmarnock
Zachary Hemming from Kilmarnock

“But in Middlesbrough he helped me and trusted me to bring me up here.”

And on Wright, Hemming said, “I think it’s good to have someone like that because he knows the role.

“The goalies get a lot of criticism, but he’s always the first to back up, I think.

“So it’s good to have someone like that.

“It could go the other way and there could be more pressure, but he supports you and gives you a boost of confidence. It’s brilliant.”

Hemming says he’s loved it so far and praised Killie for their stormy departure.

He said, “Yes, that was good. A lot of it is about settling down easily. My family and I settled in well and it was easier to focus on the football and perform well.

“But thanks guys. They dug every week and went all the way and got the three points.

“As a goalkeeper, there is no better than three clean sheets, it’s a good start.

“But it’s not just me. I think the guys were great, it’s because of them and their hard work throughout the games. “

He added, “It’s a different kind of game than I’m used to. A few of the loans I’ve been on have been busy the entire game.

“When you’re not that busy, it’s more about focusing and going through with it.

“You might only have one save to make at the end of the game to keep a clean sheet and earn all three points.

“So it was a little different – but I’m glad we dominated the games.”

Hemming says he has settled down well in the city and said, “It’s a good place to live. I am in the apartments opposite the stadium, so I am often at the hotel for coffee!

“Everyone around the place is just nice and you can get along with everyone.

“I have a little one and a wife and they get along with everyone, so it’s good that the family is settled in and I can focus on football.

“If we hadn’t settled in it might have been a little different, but everyone here has been so nice and tried to help us get settled.”

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Coroner offers “heartfelt condolences” on death of Afghan refugee from falling window

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A coroner offered his condolences to the family of a five-year-old Afghan refugee who died from a hotel window, in what she said was a “truly horrible time” for them.

An investigation was opened on Wednesday and heard only very brief details of how Mohammed Munib Majeedi fell from a window at the Sheffield Metropolitan hotel and landed on the top deck of a multi-story car park.

Deputy Coroner Tanyka Rawden said during the five-minute hearing: “He was staying with his family at the Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street in Sheffield.

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mohammed’s family at this truly horrific time

Tanyka Rawden, Assistant Coroner

“On August 18, 2021, emergency services were called to a parking lot adjacent to the hotel following reports that Mohammed fell from a hotel window on the top floor of the parking lot.

“He was taken by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he was unfortunately pronounced dead.”

Ms Rawden told Sheffield Coroner’s Court that Mohammed had been identified by his father.

She said: “I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mohammed’s family at this truly horrific time.”

The coroner told the hearing that the boy was born in Afghanistan in May 2016.

She adjourned the investigation until a new hearing on November 16 and no further details of the incident were given.

Mohammed arrived in the UK with his family this summer.

Witnesses said the boy’s father worked at the British Embassy in Kabul and the family arrived in the UK a few weeks ago, landing at Birmingham Airport, then staying in Manchester during quarantine for Covid.

After the death a number of people were seen leaving the hotel last week (Peter Byrne / PA)

The family, including parents and three boys and two girls, moved to the Sheffield Hotel the week before the tragedy.

It emerged last week that asylum seekers had already been kicked out of the hotel because it was deemed unfit to accommodate refugees.

City Labor MPs demanded a “full, urgent and independent investigation”.

The Refugee Council has also called for a review of the accommodation offered to people fleeing the Taliban.

Earlier this week, Emma Haddad, director general of asylum and protection at the interior ministry, said the boy’s family had “recently” been displaced from Afghanistan by his team.

“We are all heartbroken. We were all in tears, ”said Dr Haddad.

She wrote in the Telegraph: “Many of us are parents too. We are not faceless, empathetic bureaucrats – emotions overwhelm us. “

Dr Haddad said his team was working “around the clock” to provide safe refuge for people fleeing Afghanistan, and although his staff were unwilling to use hotels for resettlement, offers of accommodation failed. kept pace with arrivals.

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Transactions and financing heat up

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Regarding acquisition and financing news, Apple Hospitality REIT has acquired an AC hotel in Maine, while Hall Structured Finance and Arriba Capital have entered into construction loans for properties in Colorado Spring, CO and a suburb. of Nashville, respectively.

Apple Hospitality REIT acquires AC Hotel in Portland, ME
Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. has acquired the 178-room AC Hotel Portland Downtown Waterfront in Portland, ME, for a total purchase price of approximately $ 66.8 million, or approximately $ 375,000 per key.

The hotel, which opened in July 2018 and offers stunning views of Casco Bay, is close to the historic Old Port of Portland, Casco Bay Lines, East End Beach, terminals Portland and Portland Trails Cruise.

According to data provided by STR, RevPAR for the Portland Downtown / International Jetport, the Maine submarket improved by approximately 10% for this month, compared to June 2019. With results exceeding the Averages the company’s full portfolio in June, the hotel reported 85% occupancy, ADR of $ 256, and RevPAR of $ 217 for the month.

Following this acquisition, the Apple Hospitality portfolio includes 213 hotels with approximately 27,800 rooms in 35 states.

HALL Structured Finance closes $ 55.6 million loan
Dallas-based HALL Structured Finance (HSF) closed new senior construction loan totaling $ 55.6 million to finance the development of a dual-lodge SpringHill Suites / Element hotel in downtown Colorado Springs, CO. Construction is currently underway and the project is expected to open in spring 2022. The developer of the project is a joint venture between Olive Real Estate Group, Hotel Equities, Hotel Operations Services and Colarelli Construction. Hotel Equities will manage the hotels as soon as they open.

The 136-key SpringHill Suites will include all suites with separate working and sleeping areas, desks, and kitchenettes. The Element Hotel for Extended Stay 125 Keys will feature fully equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances and Standard Rooms boasting nearly nine feet. ceiling heights. The hotels will have common amenities, including an open-air courtyard with lounge seating, a business center, an indoor pool with hot tub, free breakfast, and a fitness center. Additional amenities will include meeting and event space, a downstairs restaurant with patio, and a 6,700 square foot area. rooftop bar, restaurant and lounge.

Arriba Capital closes $ 18.5 million construction loan
Arriba Capital recently closed an $ 18.5 million conventional construction loan for a Hyatt Place in suburban Nashville. In addition to the construction loan, Arriba arranged a large and complex land lease on the property.

The borrower is a private hotel management and development group based in the South East. Arriba financed several projects for the borrower.


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