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Virginia Governor: $524 Million Funding for Rent Relief Program

Governor Northam Announces $524 Million in New Funding for Virginia Rent Relief Program Federal stimulus funds available to help landlords and tenants impacted by COVID-19 pandemic ARLINGTON,VA (STL.News) Governor Ralph Northam today announced $524 million in new federal funding to help keep Virginia families in their homes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction.  Governor Northam made the announcement at Gilliam Place Apartments, which is owned by the nonprofit organization Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have p

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Connecticut Governor Receives COVID-19 Vaccination

HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont was administered with his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this morning at a clinic that was held at The First Cathedral church in Bloomfield under a partnership with Trinity Health of New England.  Forty-seven members of the church also signed up in advance to be vaccinated at today’s clinic. The governor, 67, became eligible to receive the vaccine last week when the state expanded phase 1b of its vaccination program to include individuals between the ages of 65 and 74. “I’m proud to partner with our faith community to make sure everyone eligible for a vaccine in Connecticut can access one,” Governor Lamont said.  “Leaders in our houses of worship in every community are a critical part of ensuring everyone knows the vaccine is safe, and

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Maryland Governor: on the Passing of Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson

Governor Hogan Statement on the Passing of Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement after Marriott International announced the passing of its president and CEO, Arne Sorenson: “Arne Sorenson was a true visionary who did tremendous things for Marriott and the State of Maryland.  In 2019, I had the honor of awarding Arne with the Governor’s International Leadership Award for all of his work and contributions to the community.  It was only weeks later when we learned that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Even as he fought this battle throughout 2020, Arne agreed to be part of our Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Task Force, where he was characteristically generous with his time and insight about safe

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Florida Lottery: Two Coastal Players Win $1 Million Top Prizes

Two Coastal Players Win $1 Million Top Prizes After Playing The Fastest Road To $1,000,000 TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) The Florida Lottery announces that Michael Swartz, of Hudson, and Richard Speights, of Cape Coral, each claimed $1 million top prizes from THE FASTEST ROAD TO $1,000,000 Scratch-Off game.  Swartz mailed his winning ticket to Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee and Speights used a secured drop box located at the Fort Myers District Office.  Swartz and Speights each chose to receive their winnings as a one-time, lump sum payment of $790,000. Swartz purchased his winning ticket from Circle K, located at 5202 West Sligh Avenue in Tampa.  Speights purchased his winning ticket from South 41 Bingo, located at 12011 South Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers.  Each retailer will

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Maryland Lottery: Frederick Resident Won $50,000 Prize

Maryland (STL.News) Although FAST PLAY games let you play fast and win fast, one Frederick man didn’t lose hope when he initially didn’t seem lucky.  His $50,000 prize was waiting at the bottom of the FAST PLAY Lucky Numbers ticket and he persevered to pull out a win right at the end! The 46-year-old bought a $10 Lucky Numbers ticket at Royal Farms #217 at 9180 Fingerboard Road in Urbana.  The Lucky Numbers game, which is one of 20 FAST PLAY games, offers players 17 chances to win in two sections on the ticket.  At the top of the ticket, players can match eight winning numbers with numbers in the play area.  They win the prize below any matching number. Our player didn’t match any numbers there but did so on the second half of the ticket.  The Frederick County resident received one last lu

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Texas Lottery: Columbus Resident Claims $1 Million

Columbus Resident Claims $1 Million Powerball® Prize Winning Ticket Was Purchased In Weimar (AUSTIN) – A Columbus resident claimed a Powerball® prize worth $1 million for the drawing on Jan. 16.  The ticket was purchased at Weimar Food Mart, located at 202 N. Center St., in Weimar.  The claimant elected to remain anonymous. The second-tier winning Quick Pick ticket matched all five of the white ball numbers drawn (14-20-39- 65-67), but not the red Powerball number (2). Powerball jackpots start at $20 million and roll until the jackpot is won.  Players win the jackpot by matching five numbers from a field of 69 numbers and one Powerball number from a field of 26 numbers.  Drawings occur each Wednesday and Saturday at 10:12 p.m. CT Continue reading Texas Lottery: Columbus Resident Claims $1

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi

Washington, DC (STL.News) The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi today.  The Secretary conveyed his outrage at the multiple rocket attacks yesterday in Erbil and sent his condolences to the innocent Iraqi civilians who were injured as well as to the Coalition members injured and the family and loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in the attack.  The Secretary discussed his call with Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and encouraged Prime Minister Kadhimi to continue to work closely with the regional government to address violent extremists.  They discussed efforts underway to identify and hold accountable the groups responsible for yesterday’s attacks, as

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Secretary Blinken’s Call with Portuguese Minister Santos Silva

Washington, DC (STL.News) The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva today to discuss ways to revitalize the U.S.-Portugal relationship and further strengthen Transatlantic ties.  The Secretary emphasized the U.S. desire to work with Portugal, currently the President of the EU Council, to address shared challenges, including COVID-19, economic recovery, China, and Africa. Continue reading Secretary Blinken’s Call with Portuguese Minister Santos Silva at STL.News.

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US State Department: Kosovo National Day

Washington, DC (STL.News) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement: On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate Kosovo as it celebrates its thirteenth anniversary as a sovereign, independent state. The United States is proud of its early and ongoing role in supporting an independent Republic of Kosovo to develop into a multiethnic, inclusive, and democratic country.  Kosovo has made significant strides toward a more prosperous, stable, and secure future.  We commend Kosovo’s recent establishment of formal diplomatic relations with Israel and we applaud your efforts to establish normalized relations with Serbia.  Reaching a comprehensive agreement centered on mutual recognition will require all sides to demonstrate flexibility and

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David Owen Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $400,000

Drumright Man, David Owen West Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $400,000 from an Illinois Oil and Gas Company (STL.News) A Drumright man admitted in federal court that he stole $401, 146 worth of funds and oil and gas products from his former employer, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. David Owen West, 59, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering before U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan. The sentencing hearing was set for May 13, 2021. “David West was a trusted employee for close to 30 years at Petco Petroleum.  He violated that trust by engaging in schemes to defraud his employer as West helped himself to more than $400,000 of the company’s money,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.  “This prosecution exemplifies this office’s resolve to hold res

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Florida Attorney General: Be Wary of Vaccine-Related Scams

Tallahassee, FL (STL.News) The total number of doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Florida is now outpacing the total number of Floridians who have been reported to have contracted the novel virus.  As the state starts to turn the corner, Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about COVID-19 vaccination scams.  With the continuing rollout of vaccines and increasing number of Floridians seeking to secure appointments, scammers have devised multiple methods attempting to take advantage of the highly anticipated vaccination distribution. Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida is turning the corner with vaccinations outpacing infections.  This is great news, but it would be a mistake to let your guard down now—we need to remain vigilant, not o

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Texas Men Sentenced for criminal violations

Texas Men Sentenced in Counterfeit Identification Documents Conspiracy TYLER, TS (STL.News) Two Texas men have been sentenced to federal prison for criminal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting United States Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei . Mario Eleuterio Garcia-Sevilla, 44, of Grand Saline, Texas, and Juan Valazquez Delgadillo, 50, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty in September 2020, to conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents.  United States District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle sentenced Garcia to 37 months in federal prison, and sentenced Delgadillo to a prison term of 30 months. “Identification document fraud is a direct threat to the security of the United States and its citizens,” said Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Ganjei. “Dis

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McLaughlin: Vance Taken Alive Indicted on Assault Charges

McLaughlin Man, Vance Taken Alive Indicted on Assault Charges (STL.News) United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Assault With a Dangerous Weapon, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Aiding and Abetting. Vance Taken Alive, age 29, was indicted on December 10, 2019.  He appeared before U.S.  Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 9, 2021, and pled not guilty to the Indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each Count.  Restitution may also be ordered. The Indictment alleges that on June 14, 2019, in Corson County, Taken Alive and another man, assaulted an

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SeaTac: Brandan L. Wilkins Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation

SeaTac man, Brandan L. Wilkins pleads guilty to child exploitation crimes involving sexual abuse of young boys Traveled with young acquaintance for sex and solicited sexually explicit photos from young teens via the internet Seattle (STL.News) A 37-year-old SeaTac, Washington, man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four federal felonies related to child sexual abuse, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. BRANDAN L. WILKINS pleaded guilty to travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; possession of child pornography; receipt of child pornography; and enticement of a minor.  WILKINS faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on May 18, 2021. According to records filed in

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