Supreme Courtroom blocks Biden Covid vaccine mandate for companies, permits health-care employee rule

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its comprehensive vaccination or testing requirements for large private companies, but allowed a vaccination mandate for medical facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments.

The verdicts came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measures for companies went into effect.

The mandate required workers in companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or present a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. Also, unvaccinated workers were required to wear masks when working indoors.

“Although Congress has undeniably granted OSHA authority to regulate occupational hazards, it has not conferred that agency authority to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.

“Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans selected solely because they work for employers with more than 100 employees certainly falls into the latter category,” the court wrote.

A protester holds a “Freedoms & Mandates Don’t Mix” sign in front of the US Supreme Court Friday, January 7, 2022 while discussing two federal vaccination measures in Washington, DC, United States.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan disagreed, writing that the majority had usurped power from Congress, the President and OSHA without legal basis.

“With the pandemic still raging, this court is telling the agency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all required workplaces,” they said in dissent.

“As sickness and death continue to rise, this court is telling the Authority that it cannot respond as effectively as possible. Without a legal basis, the court usurps a decision that rightfully belongs to others. It undermines the capacity of appropriate federal officials to act well within their authority to protect American workers from serious danger,” they wrote.

President Joe Biden said in a statement the Supreme Court chose to block requirements that are life-saving for workers. Biden called on states and companies to increase and voluntarily implement vaccination requirements to protect workers, customers and the broader community.

“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the powers granted to it by Congress to require this action, but that does not prevent me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing, to protect the health and economy of Americans,” Biden said.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh called the court’s decision a major setback to the health and safety of workers and vowed OSHA would use its existing authority to ensure companies protect workers. The American Medical Association, one of the largest medical associations in the country, said it was “deeply disappointed”.

“In the face of an ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic that poses a grave threat to the health of our nation, the Supreme Court today halted one of the most powerful tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus,” the AMA said said President Gerald Harmon.

In a separate ruling released at the same time on the government’s vaccination rules for healthcare workers, a 5-4 majority sided with the Biden administration.

“We agree with the government that the [Health and Human Services] The secretary’s rule falls within the powers conferred on him by Congress,” said the majority, writing that the rule “fits very well with the language of the statute”.

“Finally, ensuring that providers take steps to avoid transmitting a dangerous virus to their patients is consistent with the fundamental principle of the medical profession: First, do no harm,” says the majority opinion.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, four of the six Conservatives on the nine-seat bench, disagreed.

“I don’t think the federal government is likely to show that Congress authorized the unprecedented move to force over 10,000,000 healthcare workers to be vaccinated under threat of dismissal,” Alito wrote in his dissent.

Biden said in a statement that making vaccinations compulsory for healthcare workers will save the lives of patients, doctors and nurses. “We will enforce it,” the president said of the mandate.

OSHA, which oversees workplace safety for the Department of Labor, granted the business mandate under its emergency powers established by Congress. OSHA can cut short the normal rulemaking process, which can take years, when the Secretary of Labor determines that a new occupational safety standard is needed to protect workers from a serious hazard.

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The court’s decision to overturn the business mandate comes as the pandemic rages across the United States and the highly contagious Omicron variant is sparking an unprecedented surge in new infections. The US is reporting an average of 786,000 new infections daily, a pandemic record and a 37% increase from last week, according to CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Hospital admissions have also reached a pandemic peak, according to federal data dating back to the summer of 2020. According to a seven-day average of Department of Health and Human Services data, 149,000 Americans are in US hospitals with Covid, a 27% increase. last week.

The vaccination or testing rules have faced a number of lawsuits from 27 states involving Republican attorneys general or governors, private companies, religious groups and national business organizations such as the National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Associations and the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NRF issued a statement calling the Supreme Court ruling a “victory” and calling on the Biden administration to “reject this unlawful mandate and instead work with employers, workers and public health professionals on practical ways to increase immunization rates and contain it.” the spread of the virus in 2022.”

The mandates were the most extensive use of power by the federal government to protect workers from Covid since the pandemic began. Taken together, the Biden administration estimated that the rules for businesses and healthcare workers would apply to about 100 million Americans.

But both rules were in flux long before the Supreme Court adopted them. The OSHA rules were blocked by a conservative federal appeals court in November, then Reinstated weeks later by another court.

The White House at the time urged companies to follow public safety requirements even if they were not enforced.

Some companies have done this, others have introduced their own rules. A number of large employers, including Citigroup, Nike and Columbia Sportswear, have announced plans to lay off unvaccinated workers in recent days.

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

Amid one other Covid surge, faculties and companies discover plans disrupted

A health care professional conducts a COVID-19 PCR test at a vacant testing site in Farragut Square on December 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Anna Money Maker | Getty Images

A Covid-19 outbreak on a cruise in Lisbon. Thousands of flights canceled. Colleges are going far away again.

It’s a new year, but the pandemic continues to cause many of the same massive disruptions in American life that it has had for nearly two years.

The most recent culpable variant is that omicron trunkthat is highly transmissible and tends to elude protection from vaccines. For the past week, a seven-day average of new daily infections with the virus topped 386,000, doubling from the previous week, according to CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Rates are likely to be even higher as there are delays in reporting the holidays and an increase in home testing, which may keep cases off officials’ radar.

The rise in new Covid-19 cases means that attempts by companies and schools to resume normal operations after the holidays are again being turned upside down.

Companies postpone their return dates to the peak of the cases, including Chevron, Apple, Google and Over.

Dozens of colleges have announced that they are moving their courses online. Harvard University announced that it will remotely relocate much of its work and learning for at least the first three weeks of January.

“Please know that we are not taking this step lightly,” Harvard officials said wrote in a letter to staff and students. “This is being triggered by the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases locally and across the country.”

There are other schools that are also making the change The University of Chicago, George Washington University and Columbia University. Many colleges will likely require students to get their booster vaccinations in the spring as breakthrough cases become more common.

Local school districts across the country are also rethinking their plans. Some districts are switching back to distance learning or hybrid learning, while others are trying to reduce the children’s stress on each other by having students attend classes on a changed schedule with no lunch breaks.

Although there has been an explosion in Covid cases in New York City, the largest school district in the country, the school system will open as scheduled on Monday. The district hopes Reinforce testing efforts To hold lessons in person. There are plans to double the pace of testing in both vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Students are tested even if they show no symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

One concern is that people are returning from vacation and visiting family and friends over the holidays and have been unknowingly exposed to Covid.

As the rush home began, travel was turned upside down by both the virus and the stormy weather that has brought some planes to a standstill.

Until Saturday afternoon are more than 2,500 US flights was canceled, according to to the tracking service FlightAware. Some of the disruptions are also due to winter storms.

A cruise ship with over 4,000 people on board was stopped in Lisbon, Portugal, due to a Covid-19 outbreak among crew members, the AP reported on Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said On Thursday, Americans should avoid cruising regardless of their vaccination status.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hong Kong’s zero-Covid method frustrates companies, says analyst

Hong Kong’s strict zero-covid approach is the biggest frustration for overseas companies operating there, an analyst told CNBC on Tuesday.

The city is sticking to strict Covid measures – with up to three weeks of mandatory quarantine and other testing requirements – even if authorities have relaxed similar restrictions elsewhere.

Asked how Local politics and Covid measures are hurting business confidence in Hong Kong, the founder of publishing and research firm Big Brains said the latter was the bigger concern.

“I think it’s more frustrating right now in Hong Kong, especially with overseas companies… keeping up with its zero-covid strategy – and its announcement that it is going to stand up for [the] Rest of China before it opens up to the rest of the world – which makes business people here, their families, and their general lifestyle quite frustrating, “said Simon Cartledge.

“It’s been a long time,” he said. “It is very difficult to travel.”

The Hong Kong and mainland authorities have worked towards the establishment Quarantine-free travel between the two regions. China has one too Zero Covid Strategy.

Hong Kong again this week tightened measures as Omicron cases increased worldwide.

The city has stuck to its zero-covid approach, although the number of cases is small compared to other places in Asia. According to Our World in Data, the city has a 7-day moving average of 0.72 daily cases per million population as of December 19, compared with 66.75 for Singapore and 1.14 for Japan.

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore and New Zealand, initially took an aggressive approach through bans and tight restrictions on most of the pandemic. But many countries around the world have shifted to a “living with Covid” approach as vaccination rates have increased.

However, Allan Zeman, chairman of property developer Lan Kwai Fong Group, argued that strict Covid rules helped Hong Kong stay safe.

“But that has worked the other way around, it has helped Hong Kong because we can walk freely on the streets. Everyone wears a mask. It’s very, very important, ”he told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia. “I think in general we are safe and it is different from the horror stories I am currently watching in Europe and the US.”

Several Cities across Europe are reintroducing restrictions. In the UK, cases double roughly every two days as London hospital admissions increase. On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Omicron is now that dominant strain of Covid in the USAwhich accounts for 73% of the sequenced cases. The average daily number of cases in New York City more than doubled for the week ending Friday, December 17.

Zeman said consumer spending has been “incredible” over the past six months as fewer people are leaving the area. Hong Kong retail sales rose for the ninth straight month in October, up 12% year over year to Hong Kong dollars ($ 3.94 billion), according to government data in November, according to Reuters.

Attack on the “five eyes”

Zeman, who was running for the Hong Kong Legislative Council this week, defended changes to the Hong Kong electoral system and attacked the Five Eyes intelligence nations who criticized the revision.

the Five eyes alliance, consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and the USA, made a statement on Monday and expressed “serious concern about the erosion of democratic elements” in the Hong Kong electoral system.

Previously, half of the representatives on the Hong Kong Legislative Council were directly elected by regular Hong Kongers; according to new rules, was about a fifth. A Electoral Committee which previously had limited powers, now selects almost half of the council representatives directly, and it screens anyone who wants to run for the other places.

Zeman, who lost his race but is the economic advisor to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, said, “I would defend Hong Kong by saying that Five Eyes should focus on their own countries and look at their systems first, which is what I do do not think works very well. I believe this is a new system for Hong Kong that can really work. “

Arizona small companies don’t desire California-style employment legal guidelines | Nationwide Information

(The Center Square) – According to a new survey, small business owners in Copper State appear to have adopted the local slang “Don’t California my Arizona”.

The Arizona Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business released its annual survey of Main St. Entrepreneurs on Monday.

NFIB received answers to three questions this month from 247 small business owners across the state.

The first of these questions related to the use of the Californian ABC test to determine whether an employee is entitled to benefits and vacation as an independent contractor or as a full-time, higher-priced employee.

The legal examination asks whether the employee is “in connection with the execution of the work, both within the framework of the employment contract and actually free from the control and instructions of the hirer; the employee carries out work that is outside the normal course of business of the hirer; ”and whether the employee“ usually works in a self-employed trade, profession or business of the same type that is connected with the work performed ”.

The test was implemented with the passage of Assembly Bill 5 in California in 2019. He had strong support from the state unions, but was criticized from corporations and others warning of widespread impact on the California economy. Many industries, including freelance journalists, were exempted from the law if there was a change in 2020. Protection of the Right of Association or PRO Act would To install such a requirement nationwide.

The vast majority, 83% of Arizona companies, told the NFIB that they were not in favor of such a law.

“Every state has a tiny number of bad actors trying to get away with something by classifying full-time workers as independent contractors to save money on payroll taxes,” said Chad Heinrich, NFIB state director of Arizona. “But California chose to fire a bazooka at an anthill-sized problem when its top court in its Dynamex ruling penned its ABC test to identify an independent contractor’s employee. And, not to excel, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill 5, which has wreaked unnecessary havoc with a variety of occupational classifications and affects the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.

“Our Arizona small business membership is clear about this: Keep this bad California idea out of here.”

The NFIB also asked business owners whether the state should “require companies that manufacture, sell, import, license or distribute product packaging materials to be responsible for the collection and recycling of these materials,” of whom 84% refused.

When asked, finally, whether Arizona should levy new taxes or fees on the “energy used by motorists, ships, or commercial and residential households to pay for the infrastructure needed to house EVs,” 91% of respondents disapproved of the idea.

J&J plans to separate into two corporations, separating shopper merchandise and pharmaceutical companies

Health conglomerate Johnson & Johnson announced plans on Friday to spin off its consumer products business from its pharmaceutical and medical device businesses, creating two publicly traded companies. The news sent stocks up in pre-trading hours.

The separation will separate the Household Products division, manufacturer of patches, Aveeno and Neutrogena skin care products, and Listerine from its riskier but faster growing division that makes and sells prescription drugs and medical devices, including his Covid-19 Vaccination.

“After a thorough review, the board and management team believe that the proposed separation of the consumer health business is the best way to accelerate our efforts to serve patients, consumers and healthcare professionals, opportunities for our talented global community Create a team and drive profitable growth, and most importantly, improve health outcomes for people around the world, ”outgoing CEO Alex Gorsky said in a statement.

The company hopes to complete the transaction in 18 to 24 months. The Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices division, which includes advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, would keep the Johnson & Johnson name and keep J & J’s new CEO Joaquin Duato at the helm.

Gorsky told CNBC that the company has yet to set a name for the new publicly traded consumer business.

He said the decision to liquidate the company had been discussed by his board of directors since “it came” as it would present “tremendous opportunities” to stakeholders.

“It is in the best long-term interests of all of our stakeholders,” he continued.Squawk box. “” Our goal is to create two world leaders – a pharmaceutical and medical device business that has huge potential today … and of course the iconic brand consumer business. “

Duato will take on the role as planned in January. These segments are expected to generate sales of around $ 77 billion, while the consumer goods division is expected to sell around $ 15 billion in products this year, the company said.

His yet-to-be-named consumer products company will also inherit litigation arising from lawsuits over allegations that its Johnson’s Baby Powder causes cancer, allegations the company has vehemently denied.

Gorsky said the consumer division has four brands alone with annual sales of more than $ 1 billion. The separation will allow the company “even more agility” and “better opportunity to allocate capital,” he said.

J & J’s shares rose more than 3% in pre-trading hours following the announcement.

With Gorsky’s departure as CEO, J&J already went through a major transformation. He will remain in office as Executive Chairman of the new J&J, the company said.

In addition, the company planned to keep the total dividend “at least at the same level” after the change. J&J currently has a dividend yield of around 2.6%.

The announcement comes just a few days later General electrics said it plans to split into three separate publicly traded companies and to spin off its medical and energy divisions from the aviation division.

– CNBCs Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

UAE publicizes 50 tasks to spice up economic system, companies await particulars

Commuters drive along Sheikh Zayed Road past commercial and residential properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Christopher Pike | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates has launched a number of economic stimulus and diversification programs to attract around $ 150 billion in new foreign investment over the next decade.

Fifty new projects and initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks, Emirates officials said on the country’s 50th anniversary, including new visas to attract residents and skilled workers.

“The UAE’s ambition for the next 50 years is to become a global player in various industries,” said Sarah Al Amiri, the United Arab Emirates’ first Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, to CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Sunday. “The region is what we have set our sights on for the past five decades; now we are going further to ensure that many of our sectors are competitive on a global scale.”

The country wants to invest more in advanced industrial sectors and technological education. Newly introduced changes include visa programs such as the Green Visa, which aims to expand self-employment status for qualified individuals and investors, and the Freelancer Visa, which allows the self-employed to sponsor themselves. The country has already introduced the 10-year golden visa, which is selectively awarded to highly qualified and selected residents and investors.

Visas are a mainstay of the UAE’s economy with nearly 90% of its 10 million residents living abroad. Traditionally, an expat resident without a job loses his visa; This was one reason nearly 10% of the country’s population left the country in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

The oil-rich desert sheikdom has worked to attract new capital and residents to help its economy recover from the blows inflicted on it by the pandemic that caused its economy to drop by 6 in 2020 1% shrank. Late last year it launched the Teleworker Visa, which allows individuals to live in the UAE for a year even if their employment is overseas, as long as they meet a certain income limit.

However, like many major announcements in the United Arab Emirates, the news of the 50 initiatives gave little detail without specifying when each of these programs would begin and what exactly they would entail.

Waiting for details

Employment law experts speaking to CNBC described the plans as a “significant and positive” move for the region’s economy.

“In the past, visa and work permit restrictions have made it difficult for companies to enter into more flexible, atypical work arrangements outside of the traditional employment model,” Kiersten Lucas, partner at Dubai-based Stephenson Harwood, told CNBC.

But companies are waiting for more details. “Businesses and individuals are eagerly awaiting further clarification from the authorities on how the new visas will work in practice,” said Laura Anderson, an employee of the same company.

She added that many employers want to know how the changes will give them “more flexibility to contract directly with individuals on a more traditional advisory basis” without being aware of the current legal obligations surrounding a company’s relations with its UAE workers to be bound.

Chris Payne, chief economist at Peninsula Real Estate based in the United Arab Emirates, described the move as strategic, although details are currently lacking.

“In the UAE it is recognition that expats are here for the long term, they are here to stay, and when you’ve gone through the economic cycle, when there’s a downturn, people who lose their jobs leave the country” Payne said on CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Monday. “And that has an immediate effect on other companies, it has an obvious effect on the real estate market, and so this is being addressed gradually.”

“Often you only get the real details afterwards,” he said of the announcements on Sunday. “But the details will come … When we talk about the visa changes, they are all extremely positive, even if we wait for the details.”

Regional competition

This initiative also takes place amid a growing rivalry with neighboring Saudi Arabia for being the region’s commercial and business hub. United Arab Emirates Dubai special has long been considered the economic center of the region, supported by modern transport and logistics infrastructure and conveniently located at the intersection of east and west.

People walk past the official Dubai Expo 2020 sign near the sustainability pavilion in Dubai on January 16, 2021, hoping to strengthen its soft power and revive the economy will now open its doors in October 2021.

KARIM SAHIB | AFP | Getty Images

Last year, Saudi Arabia embarked on liberalizing economic reforms to attract more human capital and investment. And in February, she announced that her government would stop doing business with international companies whose regional headquarters are not based in the UK until 2024.

“Obviously, competition is a good thing in many cases and the UAE is responding by moving to the next level,” Payne said. “That has always been the UAE’s vision that it is not only a GCC hub, but also a hub for South Asia with connections to East Africa and beyond South Asia also in East Asia. So if you look at some of these trade and investment announcements, that says well that we have competition within the GCC, but actually our vision goes beyond the GCC. “

“So it’s absolutely a response to what’s going on in Saudi Arabia, but it’s a positive response; it says, ‘We can rise to the challenge’.”

Native companies elevating cash for Kids’s Miracle Community

Posted: Aug 6, 2021 / 11:27 am CDT
Updated: 8/6/2021 / 11:27 AM CDT

ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Ace Hardware Stores and Panda Express are raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network at the Medical Center Hospital.

Ace Hardware locations are hosting their annual Bucket Days campaign August 6-8.

Ace customers can make a $ 5 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network in the Medical Center Health System for a 5-gallon limited edition bucket and receive a 20 percent discount on almost anything that fits in the bucket.

In the Perm Basin, Ace Hardware employees and customers have raised more than $ 200,000 for the Medical Center Health System since 1991, and 100 percent of the funds raised in the Ace Hardware Stores will benefit the sick and injured children at the medical center directly Health System. The funds will be used to pay for equipment, research, supplies, charitable supplies, and a variety of other needs for the NICU and pediatric units.

Participating locations are:

  • Westlake Ace Hardware: 4652 E University Blvd Odessa, TX 79762
  • Westlake Ace Hardware: 1004 Andrews Hwy Midland, TX 79701
  • Stone’s Ace Home Center: 1502 Andrews Hwy Crane, TX 79731

MCH and Panda Express are also celebrating Panda Cares Day on August 8th.

On this year’s Panda Cares Day, Panda Express invites customers to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network while eating in-store or ordering online. According to MCHS, Panda Express has helped raise $ 350,000 in donations since 2012.

Bucks County Companies, Breweries Be a part of Forces To Elevate Cash For Flooding Victims – CBS Philly

BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Local businesses in Bucks County are stepping up efforts to raise funds for this week’s flood victims.

The road to a major flood can be long, with paperwork and lots of waiting. But local companies say they are now working to help.

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“I’ve worked in the area for over 20 years and have never seen so much rain,” said one man.

As with most flash floods, the effects of the rain on Monday can be seen long after the water has retreated.

“It was crazy, absolutely crazy,” said one man.

In Bucks County, residents affected by the flood had to leave their belongings behind, mostly in piles in front of their homes.

While the cleanup is in progress, a group of local businesses are trying to put their money where their heart is.

“It’s pretty much a community break-up – all the local commercial breweries, we also have a distillery, 1675. And everyone just more or less wanted to join in and do what they can for the community,” said Mike Watahovich.

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Watahovich is a taproom manager at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Bristol Township. He organized the fundraising campaign in which part of the sales proceeds are donated to the flood victims.

“We just wanted to do something to give something back to the community that has supported us so much over the past year,” he said.

Watahovich roped Phillip Harris, owner of Second Sin Brewing. You donate $ 1 for every pint sold.

“It’s difficult and I can’t see myself going through it, but we’re going to help in any way we can,” said Harris.

For customers who like cold brews, this fundraiser is a win-win situation.

“This is such a small brewery and most of the breweries that are involved in it are small so I think it’s great that it brings them business and supports the community too,” said customer Erica Lawrence.

The fundraiser lasts all weekend. The proceeds will go to the United Way of Bucks County’s rebuilding efforts.

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Jasmine Payoute reports from CBS3.

Hartville Police: Counterfeit cash suspect focused companies

HARTVILLE – Police say a man used film production counterfeit money to buy candy, pizza and other items in stores across town.

And investigators in other communities in Stark and the surrounding counties have reported a number of similar thefts involving counterfeit cash.

According to a Hartville police report, officers were called to the Giant Eagle at 907 W. Maple Street on Wednesday because a man had passed on counterfeit $ 20 bills.

A staff member told officers that the suspect, later identified as Daniel Armstead II, walked into the store twice within five minutes, buying a drink, and paying the cashier $ 20 each time.

The second time, the man asked the cashier to break a third $ 20, and the cashier noticed that the word “copy” was blackened with a marker according to the report.

Giant Eagle contacted the police and reported a description of the man and his vehicle.

The suspect was spotted on the 600 block of Maple Street, eastbound, and taken into custody along with the shop receipts in the vehicle, police said.

The police report shows that counterfeit money was also used at Pet Supplies Plus, Domino’s Pizza, Peace Love & Little Donuts, and other businesses.

Hartville Chocolate Factory owner Bobby Barton and nephew Jake Barton were working when Armstead stopped by for a candy bar.

“He said he wasn’t from here and asked about activities in the area,” Jake Barton told The Canton Repository. Barton sold Armstead the chocolate, paid for it in a $ 20 bill, and gave him his change.

“He came back a second time and said the candy bar was so good he wanted another one and gave me another $ 20. I didn’t know it was fake, but he started asking questions about our opening times and looked around the store, ”said Jake Barton.

According to Barton, these questions raised concerns and resulted in a call to the police.

Where did the fake bills come from?

Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea said the fake dollars were movie money bought online, although Armstead told police he got the money from a buddy when he switched.

“We don’t know he’s worked with anyone else, but we know we’re not the only community affected,” said Dordea.

Counterfeit banknotes have been used in communities in Stark, Tuscarawas, and Summit counties, according to Dordea.

“We believe they are all connected after talking to other law enforcement agencies and the receipts we found,” Dordea said.

According to Chief Doug Swartz, Armstead is believed to be the same suspect the Canal Fulton police were looking for. He said 15 cases of counterfeiting had been reported by companies.

Dover Police are investigating eight similar incidents, according to Dordea.

“Several agencies were looking for a man with the same tattoo as Armstead, and we also found receipts from stores in North Canton that were spending money,” Dordea said.

The investigation is ongoing, he said.

Armstead, 48, of Canton, is charged with forgery, a fourth-degree crime, counterfeiting and possession of criminal tools, both fifth-degree crimes.

A status hearing before the cantonal court was scheduled for July 16.

A photocopy of the counterfeit evidence confiscated by Hartville Police.

Hartville Chocolate Factory owner Bobby Barton (left) and nephew Jake Barton (right)

Federal reduction cash pulled away, hurting Portland companies

There weren’t enough grant funds to cover all applicants, so the Small Business Administration prioritized companies run by women, minorities, and veterans.

PORTLAND, Oregon – Although Oregon companies are now allowed to fully reopen, many are still working to recover from the huge financial blow they suffered during the pandemic. Some restaurants and bars have even received government support that was promised to them.

Elise Schumock, owner of the Rose City Book Pub in northeast Portland, said she received more than $ 100,000 from the Restaurant Relief Fund to cover the losses her business suffered during the COVID-19 closings.

“It was enough money to save my business and it was incredible,” said Schumock.

Schumock was one of nearly 3,000 business owners across the country who have since seen the money go away.

“For anyone who owns a restaurant, the past year and a half have been really nightmarish,” she said. “The two worst two for me were the day I had to fire all of my staff because I learned I was being shut down and the moment this was taken away.”

Dan Yates, president of Portland Spirit, said his company – a sightseeing and dinner cruise company on the Willamette River – will receive $ 4 million from the grant.

“It would have allowed us to make investments in the company that we put on hold for nearly two years,” said Yates.

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There wasn’t enough money to cover all applicants, so the Small Business Administration prioritized companies run by women, minorities, and veterans.

“We’re a veteran-owned company so we were pretty sure we were in the first group to get funded, but I was very concerned that the entire program would be at risk as we’ve never had federal funding based on race, ”said Yates.

Some white business owners sued, saying the fund was discriminatory and the court ruled in their favor.

Funding was withdrawn from the prioritized companies and the fund ran out of money and was closed. Now restaurant owners are hoping that Congress will return and vote on a new source of funding to support those who have asked for help.

Until then, companies that have applied in Portland will do whatever they can to continue to serve the community.

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“The Rose City Book Pub is a very special place. He is there for everyone. The books are all for sale, we have 18 beers on tap, ”said Schumock.

“We have been in business for 27 years and will continue to do so. We’re here to make sure birthdays, anniversaries, and family celebrations can happen on the water when they choose, ”said Yates.

Yates said the company is having difficulty hiring in addition to Portland Spirit’s funding problem. He said although the cruise is allowed to be at full capacity, it can only have about a third of the passengers on board because of insufficient staff.