Puerto Rico pow­er­less, can­cel­ing util­ity con­tract

Rome News-Tribune - - OBITUARIES - By Danica Coto As­so­ci­ated Press

James H. Har­ring­ton

James H. “Jim” Har­ring­ton, age 74, of Rome, owner of Har­ring­ton Realty and for­mer Rome City Com­mis­sioner, passed away Satur­day evening, Oct. 28, 2017.

Fu­neral ar­range­ments are in­com­plete and will be an­nounced at a later time by Daniel’s Fu­neral Home.

Al­bert Earl Stone Jr.

Mr. Al­bert Earl Stone, Jr., age 75, of Rome, died Satur­day af­ter­noon, Oct. 14, 2017, fol­low­ing an ex­tended bat­tle with Parkin­son’s dis­ease.

Mr. Stone was born in Cartersville, Geor­gia, on March 10, 1942, the son of the late Al­bert Earl Stone, Sr., and the late Ruby Pope Stone.

Mr. Stone was of the Methodist faith, was a re­tired vet­eran of the U. S. Air Force, and was a for­mer Re­source Of­fi­cer for the Bar­tow County Sher­riff’s De­part­ment.

Sur­vivors in­clude his wife, the for­mer Martha Koch, to whom he was mar­ried Novem­ber 15, 1992, and a num­ber of grand­chil­dren, nieces and neph­ews.

A ser­vice to cel­e­brate the life of Mr. Stone will be held Thurs­day evening, Nov. 2, 2017, from 6 un­til 8 p.m. at the West Rome Bap­tist Church.

Memo­ri­als may be sent to the Parkin­son’s Dis­ease Sup­port Group of Rome, Geor­gia.

John House’s Cave Spring Chapel.

White­fish En­ergy Hold­ings crews will con­tinue their cur­rent work restor­ing power in Puerto Rico as the gov­ern­ment finds new com­pa­nies to help with the re­cov­er­ing ef­forts.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The head of Puerto Rico’s power com­pany said Sun­day the agency will can­cel its $300 mil­lion con­tract with White­fish En­ergy Hold­ings amid in­creased scru­tiny of the tiny Mon­tana com­pany’s role in restor­ing the is­land’s power sys­tem fol­low­ing Hur­ri­cane Maria.

The an­nounce­ment by Ri­cardo Ramos came hours af­ter Gov. Ri­cardo Ros­sello urged the util­ity to scrap the deal for White­fish’s help in re­build­ing the elec­tri­cal sys­tem.

“It’s an enor­mous dis­trac­tion,” Ramos said of the con­tro­versy over the con­tract. “This was neg­a­tively im­pact­ing the work we’re al­ready do­ing.”

The cur­rent work by White­fish teams will not be af­fected by the can­cel­la­tion and that work will be com­pleted in Novem­ber, Ramos said. He said the can­cel­la­tion will de­lay pend­ing work by 10 to 12 weeks if no al­ter­na­tives are found.

Ramos said he had not talked with White­fish ex­ec­u­tives about his an­nounce­ment. “A law­suit could be forth­com­ing,” he warned.

White­fish spokesman Chris Chi­ames told The As­so­ci­ated Press that the com­pany was “very dis­ap­pointed” in the gov­er­nor’s de­ci­sion, and said it would only de­lay ef­forts to re­store power.

He said White­fish brought 350 work­ers to Puerto Rico in less than a month and it ex­pected to have 500 more by this week. Chi­ames said the com­pany com­pleted crit­i­cal work, in­clud­ing a project that will soon lead to a half mil­lion peo­ple in San Juan get­ting power.

“We will cer­tainly fin­ish any work that (the power com­pany) wants us to com­plete and stand by our com­mit­ments,” he said.

Roughly 70 per­cent of the U.S. ter­ri­tory re­mains with­out power more than a month af­ter Maria struck on Sept. 20 as a Cat­e­gory 4 storm File, Ra­mon Espinosa / AP with winds of up to 154 mph. Ramos said Sun­day that the to­tal of cost of restor­ing the sys­tem would come to $1.2 bil­lion.

The can­cel­la­tion is not of­fi­cial un­til ap­proved by the util­ity’s board. Ramos said it would take ef­fect 30 days af­ter that.

Ramos said the com­pany al­ready has paid White­fish $10.9 mil­lion to bring its work­ers and heavy equip­ment to Puerto Rico and has a $9.8 mil­lion pay­ment pend­ing for work done so far.

Ramos said can­cel­la­tion of the con­tract will not lead to a penalty, but it’s likely the gov­ern­ment will pay at least $11 mil­lion for the com­pany to go home early, in­clud­ing all costs in­curred in the month af­ter the can­cel­la­tion.

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors have been look­ing into the con­tract awarded to the small com­pany from In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Ryan Zinke’s home­town and the deal is be­ing au­dited at the lo­cal and fed­eral level.

NOT REAL: RE­VEALED: La David John­son Be­trayed Fel­low Sol­diers in Niger Am­bush

THE FACTS: The De­fense De­part­ment says there’s no truth to claims in a vi­ral story from writer E.T. Williams that Sgt. La David John­son be­trayed his fel­low sol­diers in an am­bush that killed him and three of his com­rades. Army Maj. Au­dri­cia Har­ris tells the AP that “at no point since the Niger at­tack has DOD ever con­sid­ered Army Sgt. La David John­son any­thing less than an hon­or­able sol­dier who sac­ri­ficed his life for our coun­try.” Of­fi­cials say a claim in the story that a let­ter was found on John­son in which he called Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump a “racist” is also false. Trump has de­fended his con­do­lence call to John­son’s widow in a pub­lic spat with the fam­ily and a Florida con­gress­woman who said the pres­i­dent was in­sen­si­tive.

NOT REAL: Doc­tors Urg­ing Peo­ple All Over The World To Stop Tak­ing Ibupro­fen Im­me­di­ately, Here’s Why

THE FACTS: This ar­ti­cle cited re­search from Cleve­land Clinic car­di­ol­o­gist Steven Nis­sen back­ing changes on warn­ing la­bels on non­s­teroidal anti-in­flam­ma­tory drugs — a cat­e­gory in­clud­ing ibupro­fen — not­ing the med­i­ca­tions could in­crease the chance of a heart at­tack or stroke. Nis­sen tells the AP he wasn’t in­ter­viewed by the blog, Cul­ture Hook, and said the out­let in­serted “com­ments” at­trib­uted to him that rep­re­sent its own view. Nis­sen said in 2015, when the FDA made a change to warn­ing la­bels, that NSAID use should be safe for those with­out car­dio­vas­cu­lar is­sues. The blog changed its orig­i­nal head­line of the story soon af­ter the AP con­tacted Nis­sen. It now reads “Doc­tors Are Warn­ing Peo­ple About The Ef­fects of Tak­ing Ibupro­fen for Pain Re­lief.”

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