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    by Jon Styf   Tennessee residents have received $81.9 million in funeral expense assistance through COVID-19 funeral reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Just short of half of those payments were made this year. As of January, FEMA had sent Tennessee $47 million in assistance. Statewide, 14,895 Tennesseans applied for the assistance and 12,178 – about 82 percent – received the reimbursement. The payments are part of a program funded by the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that reimburse or pay for funerals related to deaths related to COVID-19 since Jan. 20, 2020. The reimbursement is limited to $9,000 per person. Since the program began, nationally it has sent $2.7 billion to over 420,000 individuals and families. The applications must include a death certificate attributing the death to COVID-19 or named COVID-19 as a contributing factor. If the death occurred before May 16, 2020, a statement from the certifying official on the death certificate, medical examiner or coroner is sufficient proof. The assistance can be approved before...
    A 28-year-old man in Los Angeles died in his home and was not found until five days after his death when a friend checked his apartment.  Dominic Green was a contract worker for the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, helping the city government track COVID-19 cases.  Green worked for Healthcare Staffing Professionals, a company that has provided Los Angeles County with nearly 1,000 workers since the pandemic began, with 80% working from home.  'Good afternoon everyone, my shift has ended,' emailed Green one afternoon last winter as his shift ended at 4.30 p.m.  Green had never met any of his colleagues because his work was remote, and one supervisor told his father 'We really don't know people by anything except the work that they do.'  Five days later, his parents, Joseph and Jeannine, checked his cellphone plan and realized he had not used it.  They asked a family friend in the area to check on him, where he was found lying on his bed, motionless.  Dominic Green, 28, was working as an epidemiologist in Los Angeles when he died...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A large number of North Koreans including leader Kim Jong Un attended a funeral for a top official, state media reported Monday, as the country maintained the much-disputed claim that its suspected coronavirus outbreak is subsiding. Since admitting earlier this month to an outbreak of the omicron variant, North Korea has only stated how many people have fevers daily, and has only identified a few of the cases as COVID-19. Its state media said Monday that 2.8 million people have fallen ill due to an unidentified fever but only 68 of them died since late April, an extremely low fatality rate if the illness is COVID-19 as suspected. North Korea has limited testing capability for that many sick people, but some experts say it is also likely underreporting mortalities to protect Kim from political damage. The official Korean Central News Agency said Kim attended the funeral Sunday of Hyon Chol Hae, a Korean People’s Army marshal who reportedly played a key role in grooming him as the country’s next leader before Kim’s father died in...
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency may have been double-billed for the funerals of hundreds of people who died of COVID-19, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report Wednesday. The GAO identified 374 people who died and were listed on more than one application that received an award from the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance fund. That amounts to about $4.8 million in assistance that could have been improper or potentially fraudulent payments, the report said. FEMA spokesperson Jaclyn Rothenberg said Wednesday that this was not an example of large-scale fraud and the amount of funeral assistance identified as at-risk was relatively small, with FEMA’s “multi-layered internal quality controls and fraud controls” resulting in improper payments of less than 1%. “Unfortunately, fraud, particularly identity theft, is common. FEMA has controls in place to detect instances and can and will prosecute anyone who would apply for assistance fraudulently,” Rothenberg said in a statement. FEMA told the GAO that some duplicative applications were incorrectly awarded funeral assistance due to processing errors, not fraud, and benefits were not actually paid twice in...
    BORIS Johnson has arrived at Westminster Abbey ahead of a thanksgiving service honouring Prince Philip. The poignant event will feature elements the Duke of Edinburgh planned for his funeral that were axed due to Covid. 13Boris Johnson has arrived for the memorial service to Prince Philip todayCredit: Max Mumby 13Philip died last April aged 99Credit: PA 13The Queen leaves Windsor this morning with Prince Andrew by her sideCredit: JON BOND- The Sun The first guests are now arriving for the service at Westminster Abbey led by XXXX. Fans dressed in Union Jack flags lined the streets surrounding the church from the early hours hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals. It comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen would be attending to lead her family in honouring her beloved late husband. She was pictured travelling from Windsor to London with Prince Andrew in her car despite his recent sex case shame. Read more royal newsWILL HE SUCCEED? William plots royal rulebook revolution after disastrous Caribbean tourLAST RESPECTS Live updates from Prince Philip memorial as Queen announces she WILL attend...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Health officials in South Korea have instructed crematories to burn more bodies per day and funeral homes to add more refrigerators to store the dead as families struggle with funeral arrangements amid a rise in COVID-19 deaths. The country has been dealing with a massive coronavirus outbreak driven by the fast-moving omicron variant, which has compromised a once robust pandemic response and is driving up hospitalizations and fatalities. Officials have already allowed the 60 crematories across country to burn for longer hours starting last week, which raised their combined capacity from around 1,000 to 1,400 cremations per day. But that hasn’t been enough to meaningfully ease the backlog of bodies waiting to be cremated in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, which is home to half of South Korea’s 52 million people and the center of its COVID-19 outbreak. The backlog has also trickled down to funeral homes at hospitals and other facilities, where families have struggled to make funeral arrangements because of the longer wait for cremations. Senior Health Ministry official...
    (CNN)The Federal Emergency Management Agency's funeral assistance program has disbursed more than $2 billion to those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 since the application process began almost a year ago, the agency announced Tuesday.The funds were distributed to more than 300,000 applicants, according to FEMA, with the average amount of assistance totaling roughly $6,500."FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program has helped provide over 300,000 people with critical financial relief during a time of such unexpected, unimaginable and wide spread loss," FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a statement. More than 960,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US since the pandemic began. FEMA funeral assistance tops $1 billion to families of Covid victimsFEMA will also launch a targeted paid media campaign aimed at areas with high Covid-19 death rates, but low registrations for the funeral assistance program, the agency said. The campaign will start in localities in four states: California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.Read More"Our new outreach campaign is designed to reach families, especially across underserved communities, where the cost of a funeral can be a financial...
    Share this: The federal government has provided more than $2 billion to help cover funeral costs for more than 300,000 families of people who died from COVID-19, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Tuesday as it launches a new campaign to raise awareness about the aid to eligible families. More than 965,000 people have died in the U.S. from the virus. The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program provides up to $9,000 per funeral and covers COVID-19 related deaths since Jan. 20, 2020. The average amount awarded per death is $6,500, according to FEMA. “FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program has helped provide over 300,000 people with critical financial relief during a time of such unexpected, unimaginable and widespread loss,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell in a statement.
    It has been two years since families who were happily planning futures or settling into their golden years had everything cruelly yanked away by an enemy they could not prepare for: COVID-19. A 24-year-old first-time mother in Lima, Peru, sobbing because the baby girl she just delivered would never meet her father. A 64-year-old California woman embracing her husband through tears and his last breaths in a hospital COVID-19 unit. Then there were the dead who had to be temporarily buried in a trench in New York City’s Hart Island, with only workers clad in protective gear nearby. Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a full-on pandemic, a pivotal moment in an outbreak that would go on to kill more than 6 million people around the globe. Images taken by Associated Press photographers since then capture the devastation and disruption from the pandemic in every corner of the world. From the onset of the pandemic, simple errands suddenly required well thought-out game plans. In Wuhan in central China, residents in one neighborhood...
    HIGHLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- As COVID-19 cases drop and restrictions loosen, an Inland Empire funeral director wants people to know the virus is still killing people.This week, William P. Lewis, a funeral director at Accord Burial Services in Highland, posted on social media to remind everyone that "COVID is absolutely REAL and still TAKING LIVES" - encouraging those who do not believe him to come work for him."We never know what the next week is going to be like," Lewis said.His message is directed towards those who don't believe in the effects of the COVID vaccine and the use of masks. He also directed the message to conspiracy theorists."Even if you don't care about yourself or if you think, 'Oh, I'd never get it,' It's so selfish not to just take those simple precautions to protect others," Lewis said.His message comes as more than 100 people across the Inland Empire are currently in ICU hospital beds.Lewis said some people using his services are unvaccinated - knowing they brought the virus into their home - leading to a loved one's death."Ultimately,...
    MORE than 900,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 so far - and many of their grieving families are still missing out on financial support. If your loved one is included in this number, the government is offering up to $9,000 in Covid funeral support. 1More than 900,000 people have died from the COVID-19 outbreak in the US so farCredit: Getty Images - Getty The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has set aside $2billion to assist with funeral costs related to Covid. So far, $1billion has been used. The agency is paying a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. If you think this program could help you, you should apply sooner rather than later. Since 2021, FEMA is now processing more funeral applications requests than ever before. From April to June 2021, FEMA processed more than 222,000 applications.  Most read in MoneyDIRECT DEPOSIT Automatic $1,200 payments being sent NOW after huge $660 boosts depositedCASHING IN Advance CTC payments, IRS letter, income limit, and how to claim $5K revealedMEAL DEAL These 18 states are giving extra food stamp...
    OSWEGO, Ill. (WLS) -- The Aurora police department said a tearful goodbye to one of their own.A funeral was held Tuesday for Officer Brian Shields at Harvest New Beginnings Church in Oswego. Shields died last week from COVID-19 complications.RELATED: Aurora police officer dies of COVID-19 complications; remembered as 'devoted father, husband'"Often when people die, you hear what other folks say, what a great person they were," said Sgt. Scott Carter at the service.Carter was overwhelmed with emotion as he spoke about his friend and fellow officer. Once composed, he respectfully and lovingly remembered the 51-year-old husband and doting father."Brian was a great man. He was a family man. He was a Christian man. He was a loving husband and father," said Shields.During his funeral the beloved officer was remembered as a public servant, truly dedicated to both his community and his family.The department said Officer Shields is the first active duty Aurora police officer to die from COVID.Police officials would not say if the 16-year veteran was vaccinated against COVID-19, citing employee privacy. But the aurora police department said its...
    CHICAGO (CBS)– A funeral will be held Tuesday, for an Aurora police officer who died from complications after contracting COVID-19. The funeral for Officer Brian Shields will be held at Harvest New Beginnings Church in Oswego at 10:30 a.m. READ MORE: Cook County Opening 3 Mass Vaccination Sites This Week Aurora Police Officer Brian Shields (Credit: Aurora Police) READ MORE: 2 Dead, 5 Injured After Fire At Senior Community Apartments In KenoshaThe Aurora Police Department said Shields died Tuesday morning at the age of 51. Aurora Police Officer Brian Shields (Credit: Aurora Police) MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Brief Warmup Tuesday“Our condolences and prayers go out to Brian’s family and to all those he served with during his more than 16 years as an officer with the Aurora Police Department,” Aurora Chief of Police Keith Cross said in a news release. “Our police department family will do everything possible to provide support and comfort to Brian’s family. Brian’s memory will live on forever at APD.”
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family and friends will be saying their goodbyes to a longtime community activist in the Twin Cities Thursday. Funeral services are set for Thursday afternoon for Mel Reeves. Reeves died last week due to complications from COVID-19 at age 64. He was a fixture at rallies, protests and marches. For more than three decades in total, Reeves was on the front lines of the fight for social justice. READ MORE: 'A Remarkable Legacy': Activist Mel Reeves Dies Of Complications From COVID-19Just the week before, Reeves spoke to WCCO-TV while in the hospital. At that time, he was getting better. However, his condition later worsened and he ended up in the ICU. He died Thursday, Jan. 6. From his hospital bed, Reeves told WCCO that he wanted to urge people to get vaccinated, particularly in the Black community. READ MORE: After 2 Weeks In The Hospital With COVID Pneumonia, Activist Mel Reeves Encourages Others To Get VaccinatedThe Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, where Reeves was the community editor, announced his death, saying that Reeves was a “true champion of the underdog...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy and officiate the funeral for 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta who was fatally struck by a stray bullet fired by Los Angeles police inside a North Hollywood Burlington store. Valentina Orellana-Peralta (Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP) READ MORE: LA's First Reported Case Of Flurona Detected At COVID Testing Site Near Getty CenterThe funeral will be held Monday, Jan. 10 at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena. The family’s lawyers, Ben Crump and Rahul Ravipudi will also speak at the funeral. Valentina was killed on Dec. 23 in a dressing room while shopping for a Christmas dress with her mother. Police responded to the store following reports of an assault suspect inside. Once they arrived, police fatally shot 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez. READ MORE: 10% Positivity Rate Delays First Day Of In-Person Learning At La Cañada Unified SchoolsA bullet fired by LAPD Officer William Jones pierced a wall of the dressing room and struck Valentina. Jones has been placed on administrative leave while...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A funeral service will be held next week for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley, who was fatally shot in the line of duty last month. A wake will be held at 9 a.m. Jan. 11 at the Baltimore Convention Center followed by a funeral service at 10 a.m. the same day, the Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday. READ MORE: 3 People Die After Their Vehicle Crashes Into The Back Of Snowplow In Silver SpringHolley, a 39-year-old mother of four, died after she was removed from life support Dec. 23, a week after she was shot multiple times in the Curtis Bay area. READ MORE: Hogan Declares State Of Emergency In Response To COVID-19Police previously said Holley was seated in her patrol car on Pennington Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 16 when someone opened fire into her vehicle. Two men—31-year-old Elliot Knox and 32-year-old Travon Shaw—were arrested the next day after police linked them to the shooting based on surveillance video. MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: Hospitalizations Surpass 3K, With More Than 500 Patients In Intensive CareBoth men...
    Lebanon County Commissioner William "Bill" Ames has died of COVID-19 complications. Ames, 81, died Tuesday morning at Good Samaritan Hospital, according to a press release from the county commissioner's office. The Republican was in the middle of his third four-year term. He “has served, for the last ten years, with a forthright desire to confront fiscal and social issues that challenge counties on a daily basis,” the release says. “His consistent approach was always to be a listener, to give thoughtful consideration, and to make fair decisions." He worked alongside fellow commissioners Robert Phillips and Jo Ellen Litz.  Prior to his election in 2012, he served as South Londonderry Township supervisor and as a teacher in the Derry Township School District, WFMZ reports. Lebanon County Republican Party chairman Edward Lynch Jr. said he was known for his "outspokenness and staunchly conservative views,” "Bill was deeply devoted to making Lebanon County a better place for everyone who lived here; for that we all owe him our deepest gratitude and respect," Lynch Jr. added. Funeral arrangements are set for Jan. 6 at 11 a.m...
    DRESSED from head to toe in black, Carlos Marin's ex-wife today said her final farewell to the “love of my life” at a funeral in Madrid. Grieving Geraldine Larrosa also sensationally revealed they were planning to marry again before the El Divo Star died aged just 53 from Covid. 6Geraldine Larrosa was pictured standing alone and placing a hand on his coffinCredit: Solarpix 6Grieving Geraldine Larrosa revealed she planned to marry Carlos MarinCredit: Solarpix 6Marin was put in an induced coma in intensive care at Manchester Royal Hospital on DecemberCredit: Rex Geraldine and her family were among those in attendance and were pictured hugging loved ones outside the private memorial in Madrid where Carlos was resting in his coffin, dressed in the trademark Armani suit he wore at performances around the world. They were seen wearing protective face masks and walking hand in hand to the service. The French-born singer was later pictured standing alone and placing a hand on his coffin in a poignant scene. Outside the memorial, Geraldine, who was struggling to hold back tears, said: “We have...
    BOSTON -- When Wanda Olson's son-in-law died in March after contracting COVID-19, she and her daughter had to grapple with more than just their sudden grief. They had to come up with money for a cremation.Even without a funeral, the bill came to nearly $2,000, a hefty sum that Olson initially covered. She and her daughter then learned of a federal program that reimburses families up to $9,000 for funeral costs for loved ones who died of COVID-19.Olson's daughter submitted an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, received a deposit by June and was able to reimburse her mother the $1,974."Had this not been available, we would have been paying the money ourselves," said Olson, 80, of Villa Rica, Georgia. "There wasn't any red tape. This was a very easy, well-handled process."As of Dec. 6, about 226,000 people had shared in the nearly $1.5 billion that FEMA has spent on funeral costs that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. With the nation's coronavirus death toll topping 800,000, it's...
    FAMILIES who lose a loved one to Covid-19 can be reimbursed up to $9,000 for funeral costs, but FEMA says people are not using the benefit. As of December 6, only about 226,000 people had taken advantage of the funeral benefit, even though more than 800,000 Americans have died from the virus. 2Only about 226,000 people have taken advantage of the funeral benefit thus farCredit: Alamy To be eligible for the benefit, death certificates for those who died after May 16, 2020 must indicate that the death was attributed to Covid-19. For deaths that occurred in the early months of the pandemic -- from January 2020 until mid-May -- death certificates must be accompanied with a signed statement from a medical examiner or coroner that certifies the death as related to Covid. People who have used to reimbursement process have generally said it runs smoothly and quickly, according to NPR, but still, many Americans appear to be unaware of it, given the small percentage of people who have used it. In the US the average cost of a funeral...
    When Wanda Olson’s son-in-law died in March after contracting COVID-19, she and her daughter had to grapple with more than just their sudden grief. They had to come up with money for a cremation. Even without a funeral, the bill came to nearly $2,000, a hefty sum that Olson initially covered. She and her daughter then learned of a federal program that reimburses families up to $9,000 for funeral costs for loved ones who died of COVID-19. Olson’s daughter submitted an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, received a deposit by June and was able to reimburse her mother the $1,974. “Had this not been available, we would have been paying the money ourselves,” said Olson, 80, of Villa Rica, Ga. “There wasn’t any red tape. This was a very easy, well-handled process.” As of Dec. 6, about 226,000 people had shared in the nearly $1.5 billion that FEMA has spent on funeral costs that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. To be eligible for reimbursement, death certificates...
    Carlos Marin's ex-wife has arrived at his funeral home today for a private wake as she revealed she bid goodbye to the Il Divo singer in an emotional call when he 'knew he wasn't going to make it'. Geraldine Larrosa, who remained very close to the Spanish baritone despite their 2009 divorce, wore black as she attended the memorial with her nine-year-old daughter Scarlett and her new partner Sergio Arce, whose godfather was Carlos. The actress and singer, 44, fought back tears as she recalled her final FaceTime call with Carlos who died from Covid in a Manchester hospital last week.  She said: 'Before being intubated he said goodbye to me because he knew he wasn't going to pull through and it was the saddest image in my life.  'He called me and told me he loved me like mad and that I was the woman of his life and asked me to take care of his family.'  Carlos Marin's ex-wife Geraldine Larrosa (pictured), who goes by the stage name Innocence, arrived at his Madrid funeral home today Larrosa wore black as...
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    Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) introduced a bill that appeared to take aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over a debunked video. House Republicans are trying to cut a provision in the American Rescue Plan that provides families of COVID-19 victims with up to $9,000 for funeral costs. Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert introduced a bill on Thursday "to prohibit the use of Federal funds for funeral expenses related to COVID–19." Boebert named the proposal the Stop Appropriations for Obsequy Costs Act, or the "Stop AOC Act," an apparent reference to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. In recent months, conservatives have circulated a deceptively-edited video that appeared to show Ocasio-Cortez — who championed the funeral assistance funds — encouraging people to alter death certificates improperly to claim those benefits. That video has since been debunked, with fact-checkers noting her suggestion was taken out of context; unedited footage in fact shows the New York congresswoman encouraging people to reach out to the hospitals that issued the certificates if their loved one's death from...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago firefighters said goodbye to another member of their family as they gathered in Bridgeview Saturday morning for Michael Pickering's funeral.Katie Basic, the paramedic in charge at the Chicago Fire Department, spoke of Pickering's service."He was a hero on multiple levels," Basic said. "As a paramedic as a firefighter and as a family member." Services for member Michael Pickering underway. CFD thanks Burbank and Evergreen Park for providing flag trucks at services. pic.twitter.com/VyfGPgK9Qc— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) October 16, 2021The loss of any colleague hits close to home for these firefighters, but this one is especially hard for Basic. She met Pickering when they were both 19 years old.SEE ALSO | Stepson of 4th Chicago firefighter dead from COVID-19: 'last thing any of us saw coming'"Knowing somebody for that long," Basic said. "It's important to understand that we've seen each other's successes and triumphs and growth throughout all the years and that's kind of what are the different kind of bond and I can say is in some ways I see them truly as a brother."It was...
    (CNN) — El domingo, Nicole Sperry dio el último adiós a su hija de 10 años, que murió a causa del covid-19. Menos de 24 horas después, estaba detrás de un podio combatiendo la desinformación de los padres en una reunión del consejo escolar de Virginia. En una reunión del Distrito Escolar Público de Chesapeake celebrada en septiembre, los padres y los miembros de la comunidad negaron la existencia del virus mortal y abogaron por la supresión del mandato de uso de mascarillas del distrito, insistiendo en que la pandemia había terminado. Nicole Sperry combatiendo la desinformación de covid en una reunión del Consejo Escolar Público de Chesapeake el lunes 12 de octubre de 2021, un día después de enterrar a su hija, que falleció a causa del covid. “Mi mensaje para ustedes y para todos los que están escuchando es que el covid no ha terminado, no importa lo que hayan dicho las personas que han hablado aquí”, dijo Sperry, que también enseña en el distrito, durante la reunión del lunes. “El 27 de septiembre, durante la última reunión,...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Friends and family gathered to pay their final respects to Pittsburgh Police officer Brian Rowland on Saturday. (Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Tim Lawson) Last week, Rowland died from COVID-19 at St. Clair Hospital. (Image Provided by Pittsburgh Police) Rowland was a 21-year veteran of the force. He is survived by his wife.
    Covid-19 is killing so many people in Idaho that some funeral homes are running out of space to store the bodies as coronavirus deaths continue climbing in the US. “We are working nonstop. We’re exhausted. We’re frustrated. … Funeral homes are out of storage. Our hospitals are out of storage. It’s just become quite a mess,” Dotti Owens, the coroner for Ada County, Idaho, told CNN Saturday. The county bought a mass fatality trailer late last year to accommodate a larger number of bodies, and that has also become near capacity in recent weeks, Owens explained. “Now we’re packing them in there. Our internal cooler is full,” she said. Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US, with 41.3% of its total residents fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The only two states faring worse in fully vaccinating their residents are West Virginia (40.3%) and Wyoming (41.%). In Idaho, Covid-19 has killed an average of 20 people a day over the past week, CDC data published...
    (CNN)Covid-19 is killing so many people in Idaho that some funeral homes are running out of space to store the bodies as coronavirus deaths continue climbing in the US. "We are working nonstop. We're exhausted. We're frustrated. ... Funeral homes are out of storage. Our hospitals are out of storage. It's just become quite a mess," Dotti Owens, the coroner for Ada County, Idaho, told CNN Saturday. The county bought a mass fatality trailer late last year to accommodate a larger number of bodies, and that has also become near capacity in recent weeks, Owens explained. "Now we're packing them in there. Our internal cooler is full," she said. We will not boost our way out of this pandemic, CDC director says as 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated Idaho has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US, with 41.3% of its total residents fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The only two states faring worse in fully vaccinating their residents are West Virginia (40.3%) and Wyoming...
    A North Carolina ad agency created an unusual campaign urging vaccinations last weekend, hiring a driver to travel in a fake funeral home truck discouraging inoculation. BooneOakley designed and drove a Wilmore Funeral Home truck on Sunday with the words "Don't get vaccinated" on both sides, but upon visiting the website for the fake company, people were told to "get vaccinated now." David Oakley, the agency's director, argued the unconventional ad campaign could prove effective. "I just feel like conventional advertising is not working," the agency said . "Like, just regular messages that say 'Get the Shot' or 'Go Get Vaccinated' ... they just kind of blend in with everything else. ... We wanted to do something that saw it from a different perspective and kind of shocks people into thinking, 'Holy moly, man.'" NORTH CAROLINA SENATE ADVANCES SANDBOX REGULATORY BILL BooneOakley revealed on social media it was the creator of the truck, which was driven around Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte during Sunday’s Carolina Panthers game , which links to an urgent care...
    By Alisha Ebrahimji | CNN The truck had the name of a funeral home on it. But instead of a soothing thought that might double as a company slogan, the message on the side read: “Don’t get vaccinated.” The black truck advertising for “Wilmore Funeral Home” delivered that blunt and unexpected message on Sunday to football fans in downtown Charlotte as they headed to watch the Carolina Panthers play the New Orleans Saints. Many employers and public health officials are searching for ways to get more people vaccinated against Covid-19, using everything from money and free food to even lavish vacations and VIP Super Bowl tickets. The fully vaccinated account for just 54.7% of the total US population. One Charlotte ad agency, however, decided to ditch traditional marketing strategies and take matters into their own hands. But here’s the catch. There is no “Wilmore Funeral Home” and visiting its website takes you to a landing page instructing visitors to do the opposite of what’s written on the truck. “Get vaccinated now” pops up on the site, along with a message...
    What else? During an interview about the campaign, David Oakley, the firm's president, said that the idea was conceived while "talking about who benefits from unvaccinated people falling ill and dying of COVID-19." "Everything that's being done right now is pretty straightforward," he said. "'Get the shot,' 'Get vaccinated today.' It was a different way of going about the message." Oakley added that he and the team "felt ... personally this was a cause we believed in." "[W]e should use our resources for the common good," he explained. Oakley added that the company was intent on spreading the message of vaccination to anyone who would listen. "Anything that we can do to get people vaccinated," he said. "If it gets one person to change their mind, it's worth every penny." Chris Dobbins, StarMed's chief of relations and response, said that he, too, believed that the campaign was a tongue-in-cheek way to get people vaccinated. “It's not your typical marketing plan. But sure enough, people looked,"...
    A funeral truck circled a football stadium in Charlotte during Sunday's Panthers v. Saints game with a simple message: 'Don't get vaccinated.' At first glance, the anti-vax directive appeared to be sponsored by the Wilmore Funeral Home. It drew attention on social media as a clever, if dark, ad campaign for future memorial services for those who might end up needing them. A website for the funeral home on the stark ad goes even further: 'If not, see you soon,' it reads, with a click-through link to a clinic offering COVID-19 vaccines. 'This truck is making laps around Bank of America Stadium before the Panthers game in Charlotte,' a puzzled Twitter user wrote Sunday at 11.23am. 'Is it sponsored by a damn funeral home? Wow,' someone replied shortly after. The truck and the website, as it turns out, are part of an elaborate pro-vaccine stunt by the Boone Oakley ad agency in Charlotte. A truck purporting to be from the Wilmore Funeral Home told people, 'Don't get vaccinated' The funeral home's website ominously warns, 'If not, see you...
    A FUNERAL home in North Carolina reportedly placed an advert on a van that urged people not to get vaccinated. The truck with the "Don't get vaccinated" message circled the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte before a football game on Sunday. 2The van traveled around Charlotte with the message 'Don't get vaccinated'Credit: Twitter 2The funeral home's website linked directly to a local health center that provides information about the vaccineCredit: wilmorefuneralhome.com However, it's not all that it seems. Underneath the seemingly anti-vaxxer message was the name of the burial business that paid for the ad - "Wilmore Funeral Home". Googling the name of the business brings you to a black page with the stark message: "Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon." Clicking into the message directs you to the website of a local private healthcare center that offers vaccines. In the US more than 386 million doses of the vaccine have been administered with 55.6% of the population being totally vaccinated. However, the jabs have been passed up by some 70 million eligible Americans, Bloomberg reports. Most...
    LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) — This afternoon family and friends will gather to remember Denton County Fire Marshal Roland Asebedo. He died last week from complications due to COVID-19. The funeral for Asebedo will be at First Baptist Church of Lewisville at 2:00 p.m. If you’re in the area there will be processions before and after the service. READ MORE: Haitian Migrants On Texas Border With Mexico Undeterred Plans To Expel Them Asebedo served more than 30 years in emergency services — including law enforcement and as a firefighter and EMT. He rose through the ranks to become to County Fire Marshal and Director of Development and Emergency Services last October. READ MORE: US Launches Mass Expulsion Of Haitian Migrants Who Crossed Into Texas Illegally Asebedo is survived by his mother, Mary Asebedo of Silverton; his wife, Michele “Mickey” Asebedo of Denton; his son, Jordan Asebedo of Highland Village; his daughter, Lorrin Underwood of Flower Mound; his brother, Able Asebedo of Silverton; his sister, Marilyn Leal of Pottsboro; and a number of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. MORE NEWS: Chargers Finally...
    A 29-year-old surgical technician who was set to be married this summer - but died after not taking the COVID-19 vaccination over unfounded fears it would make her infertile - will be mourned in the church she had booked to say her vows.Samantha Wendell, of Grand Rivers, Kentucky, was set to walk down the aisle at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Illinois, in late August with her fiancé Austin Eskew, a correctional sergeant.Instead, funeral services for the 29-year-old will be held on Saturday at the same church, where her parents had married years ago, according to NBC News.The couple had both refused to get vaccinated after Wendell's co-workers incorrectly told the bride-to-be, who wanted to have three to four children, that the vaccine can cause infertility.   Samantha Wendell (right), of Grand Rivers, Kentucky, was set to walk down the aisle in late August with her fiancé Austin Eskew (left), a correctional sergeant Pictured: Samantha Wendell, a 29-year-old who was set to be married this summer, but died after not taking the COVID-19 vaccination over unfounded fears it would make her...
    The Rolling Stones were reportedly forced to miss the funeral of their drummer Charlie Watts due to Covid-19 restrictions. Sir Mick Jagger, 78, Keith Richards, 77, and Ronnie Wood, 74, were unable to attend the small private ceremony in Devon which took place last week.  According to The Sun, the group have remained in Boston amid pandemic rules where they are rehearsing for their rescheduled world tour which begins on September 26 in St Louis, Missouri.  Restrictions: The Rolling Stones were reportedly forced to miss the funeral of their drummer Charlie Watts due to Covid-19 restrictions (L-R, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood) Charlie's funeral was said to have taken place with minimal fuss, according to his family's wishes. The musician died on August 24 aged 80 with a statement saying he had 'passed away peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family'.  RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan tour manager Mick Brigden dies... EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: It's the Online Jungle! Bear Grylls calls... Kanye West scores 10th number...
    While the plight of healthcare workers has gotten a lot of attention throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, relatively few media reports have addressed the impact on licensed embalmers who work in the funeral-home industry. One Texas-based embalmer of 30 years, Patrick Huey, writes that his profession is currently "at a breaking point" due to the pandemic, in a column published Monday by the Huffington Post. Huey also describes the devastating toll of COVID on the bodies of victims, including swelling and infections that make them "unrecognizable" to their loved ones. And he urges people to get vaccinated, in part to help relieve the enormous strain on workers like himself. "I don't know how much longer I can keep working this way," Huey writes. "I'll never throw my hands up and just say 'screw this!' If the good Lord calls me home and I drop dead at the embalming table, then I guess that'll make for a day off." At the beginning of the pandemic, embalmers weren't sure if they could safely work on the bodies of COVID victims...
    MULLINS, S.C. (AP) — When the last mourners departed and funeral director Shawn Troy was left among the headstones, he wept alone. For five decades, the closing words at funerals in this town of 4,400 had been delivered by his father, William Penn Troy Sr. Now the elder Troy was gone, one of many Black morticians claimed by a pandemic that has taken an outsized toll on African Americans. “I walked over to his grave and I could hear him talking to me,” Shawn Troy said. “And he said, ‘You got it. You can do it.’ … He passed the baton on to me, so I’ve got to get running.” He is hardly alone. Since the start of the pandemic, about 130 Black morticians have died from COVID-19, according to the association that represents them. Deaths of funeral workers are not closely tracked. But the National Funeral Directors Association, which represents the broader industry, said it has not seen a corresponding rise in COVID deaths among its members. The deaths of Black morticians are particularly notable because of the prominent...
    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A funeral was held on Thursday, Sept. 9, celebrating the life and mourning the loss of David Leos, a 40-year Dallas Fire-Rescue veteran who died of COVID-19 on Sept. 2. Friends, family and dozens of first responders gathered at Lakepoint Baptist Church in Dallas. Outside the funeral for Dallas firefighter David Leos (Nicole Nielsen – CBS 11) “He was a man who anyone would want to be more like,” said Julian Costanzo, with Dallas Fire Rescue. Leos had just celebrated his 40th anniversary with Dallas Fire-Rescue in August. David Leos (credit: Dallas Fire-Rescue) It’s a milestone the department says they’re glad he achieved. “I’ve come to realize, the importance of counting one’s blessings every day,” said DFR Capt. Christian Hinojosa. “Life can change so fast.” Leos came down with COVID-19 in July, and had since been placed in Parkland’s ICU. Last Wednesday night, fellow firefighters held a vigil outside his window, the night before he passed. Dallas Fire Rescue says since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve had 673 members test positive for COVID-19. They say they...
    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A funeral was held on Thursday, Sept. 9, celebrating the life and mourning the loss of David Leos, a 40-year Dallas Fire-Rescue veteran who died of COVID-19 on Sept. 2. Friends, family and dozens of first responders gathered at Lakepoint Baptist Church in Dallas. Outside the funeral for Dallas firefighter David Leos (Nicole Nielsen – CBS 11) “He was a man who anyone would want to be more like,” said Julian Costanzo, with Dallas Fire Rescue. Leos had just celebrated his 40th anniversary with Dallas Fire-Rescue in August. David Leos (credit: Dallas Fire-Rescue) It’s a milestone the department says they’re glad he achieved. “I’ve come to realize, the importance of counting one’s blessings every day,” said DFR Capt. Christian Hinojosa. “Life can change so fast.” Leos came down with COVID-19 in July, and had since been placed in Parkland’s ICU. Last Wednesday night, fellow firefighters held a vigil outside his window, the night before he passed. Dallas Fire Rescue says since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve had 673 members test positive for COVID-19. They say they...
    UPDATE: Funeral For Dallas Firefighter David Leos Who Lost Battle With COVID-19 – Watch Live Above 10-AM to 11AM. DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas firefighter David Leos lost his battle with COVID-19. READ MORE: Dallas Police Searching For Suspect Who Killed Man Outside Apartments Along Forest Lane David Leos (credit: Dallas Fire-Rescue) The Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association shared the news on Thursday, Sept. 2. Leos is the first active-duty firefighter in Dallas to die from the virus. Dallas Fire-Rescue shared the following statement on Leos’ passing on Thursday afternoon: Dallas Fire-Rescue is saddened to announce the untimely passing of Driver Engineer, David Leos. David joined the department on August 12, 1981, and served the citizens of Dallas for 40 years before passing after a long and courageous battle with COVID-19. David leaves behind a wife and eight children along with countless other family members and friends who will miss him dearly. This is a tragic loss for our department; especially for his brother, Lieutenant Marty Leos, and son, Lieutenant David Leos, Jr., who have followed admirably in their brother/father’s footsteps. We...