Summary of Friday morning news

Two masked suspects robbed a Gilroy bank at gunpoint on Thursday afternoon and fled in a... (Author: Gardener)

FridayTwo masked suspects robbed a Gilroy bank at gunpoint Thursday afternoon and fled in a getaway vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash. A spokesman for the Gilroy Police Department said no one was hurt in the armed robbery at the bank on Block 6900 of the Camino Arroyo. Officials replied to the bank at 2:05 p.m. and found two masked suspects entered the bank and robbed it at gunpoint. Gilroy Police are actively investigating this incident. Anyone with information about this is urged to get in touch with Det. Jason Greathead at (408) 846-0373. A woman died Thursday morning after her vehicle went off a road in Santa Rosa and overturned. A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol said the incident happened around 8 a.m. as a single vehicle crash on Llano Road south of Meadow Lane. Santa Rosa CHP officers and firefighters arrived at the scene to find that an Audi A5 had overturned and left the roadway. The driver was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. For reasons that are still unknown, the Audi left the roadway to the right, crashed into a drainage canal and rolled over. Anyone with information identifying the deceased is urged to contact the Sonoma County Coroner's Office. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Santa Rosa CHP office at (707) 588-1400. A 33-year-old man was arrested earlier this month in connection with multiple burglaries at businesses throughout downtown Stockton, police said. Ruben Manuel Martinez has been identified as a suspect believed to be responsible for nine burglaries at local businesses from April to July and was arrested on July 1, police say. Police said four of the robberies occurred near North California Street, two on Main Street, one on American Street, one on Buena Vista Avenue and one near North El Dorado Street. Martinez reportedly broke into six of the locations on June 22, police reported. According to police, Martinez had a warrant out for his arrest for burglary and vehicle tampering. Anyone with information regarding burglaries or other downtown burglaries is asked to call the Stockton Police Department Investigative Division at (209) 937-8323. The Oakland Department of Violence Prevention, which is tasked with alleviating violence in the city, received its largest funding since its inception five years ago. Violence in Oakland skyrocketed following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic after years of easing. Oakland City Council members committed $19.3 million to the Department of Violence Prevention to fund prevention and intervention services. Community groups have insisted since the killing of George Floyd that Oakland officials address the root causes of the violence, such as lack of jobs and housing. The same groups have called for less money to go into policing. City council members initially complied with these demands by diverting funds from the police department, but have since returned the funds. Others, like Mayor Libby Schaaf, have sided with the police, essentially arguing that law enforcement is part of the solution to violence. Elected leaders and nonprofit service providers in Monterey County gathered Thursday for a virtual summit on homelessness that county officials hope will be an annual event to coordinate progress on addressing what has been dubbed the crisis in the region and check. The Lead Me Home Summit on Homelessness brought together a range of housing, homeless services and health service providers, as well as elected leaders and staff at the state, county and city levels. Released for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Monterey County's annual point-in-time census found 2,047 vulnerable people residing in the county in 2022. Roxanne Wilson, Executive Officer of the Coalition for Homeless Service Providers, chaired the meeting, which was presented by Monterey County Supervisors Luis Alejo and Wendy Root Askew. Wilson will take on the role of director of homeless services for the county on Monday. Wilson outlined the five-year Lead Me Home plan, which will guide the region as it continues to find solutions to the housing crisis, with a goal of reducing homelessness by 50 percent over that period. Oakland police identified the man who died in a shooting in the city's uptown neighborhood early Wednesday as Tadao Henning, who turned 34 on Tuesday. Henning died after someone fired shots just before 1:30 a.m. near 450 19th St. near the Fox Theater. A woman from San Leandro and a woman from Tracy, both in their 20s, were also shot and have been in stable condition since then, police said. Both were taken to a hospital, police said. Paramedics treated Henning at the scene, but he died, police said. Officers are investigating the shooting and anyone with information about it can call the department's Homicide Division at (510) 238-3821. The possibility of the Santa Rosa City Council getting a big pay rise cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday when the panel voted 5-2 to draft a resolution calling for a pay increase to follow the November vote should be set. The resolution will then be presented to City Council for approval. After much discussion and debate, the council decided to follow the recommendation of a city charter review committee to ask voters to approve increases based on the area's median income for a household of three. The mayor would get the full amount, $101,500, and the council members would get two-thirds of that, $66,990. Some council members pointed out that such a drastic jump might not go down well with voters. Stockton residents must reduce their water use by 20 percent and comply with additional water regulations starting Tuesday after the city council passed a resolution declaring a water shortage emergency, city officials said. City officials said as of now that city water customers are not allowed to water outside between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., even-numbered addresses and locations without a specific street address are only allowed to water on Sundays and Wednesdays, and odd-numbered addresses are only allowed to water outside on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In addition, outdoor watering is also not permitted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and watering non-functional lawns in commercial, industrial, and institutional areas is prohibited. Water use is permitted for immediate health and safety needs or to ensure the health of trees and other permanent non-turf plantings, the city said in a release. City officials said people who experience a second water violation and fail to correct or stop a violation immediately can be fined up to $100 daily for each day the violation continues. Copyright © 2022 Bay City News, Inc. Republication, retransmission, or redistribution is prohibited without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area. Copyright © 2022 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


What we learned and what's next

WASHINGTON (AP) -- At seven hearings this summer, the Jan. 6 House panel has maintained two consistent themes: Donald Trump's stubborn defiance of advisers who told him Joe Biden won the election and the former president's role in it inciting a rebellion in the Capitol. Each hearing had its own focus – this week was domestic extremism – but the nine-member panel investigating the January 6, 2021 attack is not from its... (Author: Gardener)

WASHINGTONVideo of then-President Donald Trump is shown as the House Special Committee investigates the Jan. 6 attack on the U. WASHINGTON (AP) -- At seven hearings this summer, the Jan. 6 House panel has maintained two consistent themes: Donald Trump's stubborn resistance to advisers who told him Joe Biden won the election and the former president's role in it inciting a rebellion in the Capitol. Each hearing had its own focus — this week was domestic extremism — but the nine-member panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack has not strayed from its key findings: that Trump has taken historically unprecedented steps to end his election defeat of 2020 and then lifting turned a blind eye when his supporters beat the police and broke into the Capitol to defend him. S. Capitol Building, left, is seen in the halls outside the House of Representatives investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol while holding a hearing at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) A rundown of what we've learned so far from the Jan. 6 select committee public hearings -- and what's next: At each hearing, the panel has video testimonies from White House staffers and Trump staffers who said they told Trump that Biden won the election and advised him to drop his false claims of widespread voter fraud. Many were heartened by former Attorney General Bill Barr's statement in early December 2020 that there was no evidence of mass fraud that could change the election outcome. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., second from right, speaks as the House of Representatives probes the Jan. 6 attack on the U. From left: Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Raskin, and Human Resources Advisor Candyce Phoenix. Among those aides was Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, who told the panel she accepted Barr's conclusions. Eugene Scalia, Trump's Secretary of Labor, said he told Trump it was time for him to say Biden won after states confirmed the electoral college on Dec. 14. Barr, who told Trump to his face that the fraud allegations "b——-t," said he feared the president was "detaching himself from reality." Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., listens as the House Special Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, July 12, 2022 in Washington. S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/J. (AP Photo/J. (AP Photo/J.) Instead, he listened to a small group of allies outside the White House who pushed the fraud allegations, sometimes even into Tuesday's hearing, video testimony from White House attorneys described theories put forward by attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell that they believed were "insane," including compromised voting machines and thermostats. A March 18 meeting December at the White House lasted six. Several participants said as the two sides argued over Trump's next moves, White House counsel Pat Cipollone told the committee in a videotaped interview that attorneys Powell and Giuliani kept asking for evidence asked but never got good answers Hours after the December 18 meeting, he tweeted that his supporters should come to a "big protest" on January 6 if d he Congress would certify Biden's victory. The committee showed a montage of videos and social media posts following the tweet as supporters responded, planning trips to Washington, some of which used violent rhetoric and talked about killing cops. Far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers mobilized their members to come to Washington to protest, and members of these groups descended on the Capitol before Trump had even finished his fiery White House speech that morning. At a hearing last month, former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Trump knew some of his supporters who had gathered for the event were armed because they had been turned away at security checkpoints. Stephen Ayres, who broke into the Capitol on January 6 and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor misdemeanor last month, testified in person at Tuesday's hearing. Discussing how he believed Trump's lies when they were reinforced on social media, he said he came to Washington at the behest of his president. His arrest changed his life for the worse, Ayres said, and he was furious that he believed the fraud allegations. The committee has specifically focused on Trump's efforts to go to the Capitol with his supporters after his speech. Hutchinson said many of Trump's aides and even House GOP Chairman Kevin McCarthy knew of his plan and were trying to stop it. She also described Trump's anger when security officials refused to take him there after his speech. On Tuesday, the committee unveiled further evidence that Trump had planned to call on his supporters to march to the Capitol and that he would go with them. The panel showed a draft tweet, undated and never sent, which said: "Please arrive early, large crowds are expected. They also showed texts and email exchanges between planners and White House aides about a secret plan for the march. "POTUS will have us marching there/to the Capitol." People will try to "sabotage" it if they find out, she said. The committee's first hearings focused on Trump's pressure campaign to thwart Biden's election victory — directed at state election officials, the Justice Department, and finally Vice President Mike Pence. At a hearing with state officials, Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger recounted Trump's call asking him to "find 11,780 votes" that could get him a win. Arizona GOP House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified on a call from Trump in which the president suggested his chamber reject the election list for Biden, who won the state. In a separate hearing, Justice Department officials described Trump's efforts to not only get them to declare the election "corrupt," but to replace the incumbent attorney general with one of his allies at the department who sympathized with his false claims. And Greg Jacob, an attorney for Pence, testified that he planned inside the White House to persuade Pence to object to the results or delay certification in his traditional ceremonial role as census chair. On Jan. 6, hours after Trump's supporters broke in and suspended proceedings, Pence declared Biden the winner. The committee plans to hold its eighth hearing next week. This hearing is expected to include testimonies from White House aides and focus on what Trump was doing during the hours his supporters broke into the Capitol by force. Maryland Assemblyman Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, said the hearing will be "a profound moment of reckoning for America." Once the hearings are complete, the panel is expected to issue a final report. That could happen before the November midterm elections, the committee's chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said in an interview on Tuesday.


"The smell, the smell was awful." People in Charlotte are reacting to the unpleasant odor that permeated the city on Thursday

While not dangerous, the smell that permeated many parts of Charlotte on Thursday certainly wasn't pleasant. (Author: Gardener)

ThursdayVendors at the Charlotte regional farmers' market said the smell wasn't noticed there, but many shoppers said they'd noticed it in different parts of Charlotte. C. (WBTV) - While not dangerous, the smell that permeated many parts of Charlotte Thursday certainly wasn't pleasant. Callers reported what they believed to be a gas leak, while others reported breathing problems. This prompted officials to urge the community not to call 911 to report the smell, and it caused some confusion. The first wave of callers encountered delays and waits, others heard the message not to call 911 and then wondered if they could call for other emergencies... City leaders said there was a lot to work out. The smell was awful," Crystal Brown said. She worked Thursday at the Charlotte Regional Farmer's Market. It's a place associated with good smells, not the funk that was in the air around Charlotte today. To be honest, Brown said it smelled... "like a big fart... haha." But many recognized it as the smell associated with natural gas, and that's dangerous. "I received an emergency alert and went outside to get my dog ​​and I smelled a strong odor of natural gas," Anne Deshields said. As calls came in to 911, the Charlotte Fire and other agencies began sending out alerts. A statement released by Charlotte Fire said: Between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning near uptown Charlotte, an environmental contractor accidentally released the odorant mercaptan from four storage tanks. Mercaptan is injected into natural gas to give it a distinctive odor that makes it easy to spot. Natural gas itself has no odor. The Charlotte Fire Department Communications Center has received numerous calls regarding a strong odor of natural gas/chemicals at several locations throughout a large area of ​​Charlotte. The Charlotte Fire Department immediately began coordinating with partners including the Charlotte Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, the National Weather Service and Piedmont Natural Gas to investigate the source of the odor. The National Weather Service stated that a weather event known as an inversion could prevent odors from dissipating easily. The National Weather Service believes the inversion will stop within a few hours, which will help disperse the smell of the odor throughout Charlotte. This odor does not need to be reported. Please call 911 unless you are having a medical emergency or think the gas is coming from your home or building. said Laura Kaye. What many saw on their phones was a warning not to call 911 and letting people know there was no gas leak. MEDIC said it was difficult to measure exactly how many calls it received, but enough to ask people not to call 911 if they would just report the smell. Hannah Sanborn Brown, of the City of Charlotte, said, "Anyone who has an emergency, whether related to the odor or not, should call 911 for assistance." By late afternoon, the odor was largely apparent may have gone with the wind, but left a lasting memory for Crystal Brown. "I just thought I shouldn't smoke a cigarette in here," Brown said, "not by a long shot!"


Can Karlsson be the "top dog" again after the Burns trade?

San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier on Erik Karlsson: "I think it's a good opportunity for Erik to maybe take the reins a bit more." (Author: Gardener)

KarlssonAfter trading Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier mentioned that he spoke to other players who have similar length contracts, including Erik Karlsson. Grier said Wednesday that he and Karlsson recently spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes. As with Burns, Grier said that if Karlsson wanted to move to a team in a win-now mode, he would let the two-time Norris Trophy winner take the lead in a potential deal, difficult as the terms of his were contract. However, that is not the impression Grier got from Karlsson. "We had a really good conversation," said Grier. He's feeling good, he's training hard and he's enjoying being back home so I'm excited to see what he brings this season. But right now I think he's excited and ready to go. With Burns now in Carolina, Karlsson is more at the helm of the Sharks than he has been in four years since he came to San Jose. He'll easily be the Sharks' even-strength offensive leader and power-play quarterback. Karlsson was the lead defenseman for most of his time with the Ottawa Senators as he established himself as an NHL superstar. But that was a few years and a handful of injuries, and he may not be able to play 25-26 minutes a game again. With Karlsson at the helm and some new characters around him, does the power play improve? San Jose's power play has ranked in the bottom half of the NHL at 14.1 percent to 17.5 percent for the past three years and could be even better. However, Karlsson has not played a full season in the past six years as injuries and a stint in the NHL COVID-19 protocol limited him to 50 games in 2021-2022. Whenever Karlsson wasn't in the Sharks' lineup last season, Burns seemed to up his game. What the defense pairings will look like at the start of the season is still a mystery. If Nikolai Knyzhov is healthy he could be paired again with Karlsson if he is ready for those minutes. But without Burns, who played 679 straight games for the Sharks, it's all up in the air. It will also be interesting to see if a new coaching staff can rejuvenate certain players like Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kevin Labanc - assuming he stays in San Jose. Labanc, with a cap-hit of $4.725 million over the next two seasons, is said to be another player traveling under the new regime, though Grier was not asked about him directly on Wednesday. Grier said in Burns' absence: "We're going to need some people to get up and play for a few minutes. But at the same time I think it's a good opportunity for Erik to maybe take the reins a bit more, play in some other situations and kind of be the top dog again and not have to share the ice in certain situations .” GOALIE LOGJAM?: Grier has previously said he would be perfectly fine carrying three goalies, Kaapo Kahkonen, James Reimer and Adin Hill, for the start of the regular season. After adding Carolina's Eetu Mäkiniemi to the Burns trade, the Sharks signed free agent Aaron Dell to a one-year deal Thursday, presumably to play with the Barracuda. As of now, Dell and Mäkiniemi are part of a crowd-Barracuda fold that includes former U. How it all plays out is unclear, although it's very likely that one or two of the pro netminders will eventually be traded into the teams' need for a goalie. For now, Grier is willing to be patient. "Everyone is looking for goalkeepers," said Grier. "We're open to that, but at the same time, we have three good NHL goalies, and if you kind of go along with it, you see how valuable that is. "So if there's ever an opportunity to move on, we'll look at that, but if not, we're okay with where we are right now." SECOND LINE WINGERS?: The Sharks have a caliber winger in Oskar Lindblom Added center six who could fit in the second row alongside Logan Couture, especially if Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov stay together. William Eklund is certainly a possibility and could be the most natural fit, but does he need more experience in the AHL to start the year? Couture spent time with Nick Bonino and Matt Nieto on the wings towards the end of last season, so those are options. As was the case last season, this question may need to be answered from within. NOTE: In addition to Dell, the Sharks also announced the signing of forward C. Dell, 33, and Suess were given one-year contracts and Agozzino was given a two-year deal. All three players will likely be asked to take the lead with the Barracuda.


Pete Davidson wants his future kids to grow up with their dad and 'watch them have what I didn't have'

Pete Davidson, 28, says his feelings about fatherhood stem from losing his own father when he was young (Author: Gardener)

Pete DavidsonPete Davidson wants his future children to grow up with their father and "watch them have what I didn't have" Davidson, 28, says his feelings about fatherhood stem from losing his own father at a young age Has. Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian attend The 2022 Met Gala celebrating In America: An Anthology of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. Pete Davidson has always wanted to be a father. When asked if having children and getting married is a "priority" now — alluding to his relationship with mother-of-four Kim Kardashian — Davidson revealed he's thought about becoming a father since he was a child. Receive push notifications with news, features and more. "Ever since my dad passed, I've been like, 'Oh, I can't wait to have a kid,'" he said, noting how he once felt like maybe fatherhood wasn't his path. "I don't like to say cheesy, the rationale was I don't want a kid ever to feel like I'm feeling right now," he explained, referring to his father's death as a firefighter in September. But just to be there, so someone doesn't have to feel that way. Don't miss a story - sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to keep up to date with the best that PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Pete Davidson Says He's 'Definitely a Family Guy' and Will 'Have a Kid': 'It's Like My Dream' RELATED: Kim Kardashian Says She Consulted Therapists Before Introducing Pete Davidson to Her Kids Spoken Elsewhere in the Interview Davidson more about looking forward to a new "chapter" in his life. “My favorite thing I have yet to achieve is I want to have a child. This is like my dream. It's like, super cheesy," Davidson said. Hart, 43, then interjected, telling Davidson, "That's not super cheesy — that's the best goddamn thing to do in life." "It would be so much fun. "That's what I'm gearing up for right now, just trying to be as good a guy as I can, to evolve and get better, so it's just easier when that happens." He also noted that getting married is "100 percent" associated with his desire to have children later. "That's how I hope it goes, you know?" he said Hart Kardashian shares Psalm, 3, Chicago, 4, Saint, 6, and North, 9, with ex Kanye West. In April, a source told PEOPLE that Davidson was "slowly getting to know" their four children. “Kim entrusts her children to Pete. She wants her kids to bond with Pete," said the insider, who noted there's always safety when Davidson takes the kids. “Kim's relationship with Pete is very strong. It's very important to Kim that her kids get along with Pete." "They never tried to rush anything. He got to know her slowly," the source added. “The kids love having Pete around. He's a funny guy. It makes Kim very happy that they all get along."


Long lines again outside US food banks as inflation hits high

PHOENIX (AP) -- Long lines are back outside food banks across the U.S. as working Americans, overwhelmed by inflation, turn to handouts to feed their families. As gas prices skyrocket along with the cost of groceries, many people are looking for charity food for the first time, and more are coming on foot. (Author: Gardener)

USS. working Americans, overwhelmed by inflation, are turning to handouts to feed their families. As gas prices skyrocket along with the cost of groceries, many people are looking for charity food for the first time, and more are coming on foot. S. is at a 40-year high and gas prices have been rising since April 2020, with the average cost nationwide briefly touching $5 a gallon in June. Food banks, which began to feel some relief as people returned to work after the pandemic shut down, are struggling to meet the latest needs, even as federal programs make less food available for distribution, grocery store donations are tapering off, and cash gifts are not nearly as good go far. Tomasina John was among hundreds of families who queued in multiple lanes of cars that one day pulled around the block in front of St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix. John said her family had never visited a Tafel before because her husband easily supported her and their four children with his construction work. "But it's really impossible to get through now without help," said John, who traveled with a neighbor to share the cost of gas while they idled under a scorching desert sun. "The prices are way too high." "It's a real struggle," said Pascual, a janitor who is estimated to spend several hundred dollars a month on groceries for himself, his wife and their five children, ages 11 to 19. The same scene is being repeated across the country, where food bank workers are forecasting a rough summer to stay ahead of demand. The rise in food prices comes after state governments ended COVID-19 disaster declarations that temporarily allowed higher benefits under SNAP, the federal food stamping program that covers about 40 million Americans. "It doesn't look like it's going to get better overnight," said Katie Fitzgerald, president and chief operating officer of the national food bank network, Feeding America. Charity food distribution has remained well above the levels given away before the coronavirus pandemic, although demand eased somewhat late last year. Feeding America officials say data for the second quarter won't be available until August, but they're hearing anecdotally from food banks across the country that demand is picking up sharply. The Phoenix Food Bank's main distribution center distributed food packages to 4,271 families in the third week of June, a 78% increase from the 2,396 families served the same week last year, St. Mary spokesman Jerry Brown said. More than 900 families line up at the distribution center every weekday to receive a government emergency food box filled with goods like canned beans, peanut butter and rice, Brown said. St. Mary's is adding products purchased with cash donations, as well as groceries provided by local supermarkets, such as bread, carrots and pork chops, for a combined package worth about $75. Distribution by Northern California's Alameda County Community Food Bank has increased since hitting a pandemic low earlier this year, going from 890 homes served on the third Friday in January to 1,410 homes on the third Friday in June, marketing director Michael said old festival S., where food distribution briefly peaked at a staggering £1million a day early in the pandemic, is now being spent on average at £610,000 a day. That's up from about £500,000 a day before the pandemic, spokeswoman Paula Murphy said. Murphy said cash donations haven't slowed down, but inflation ensures they won't go that far. Food bank executives said the sudden surge in demand surprised them. "Last year we were expecting a drop in demand in 2022 because the economy had been doing so well," said Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. "Many of these are people who have been working during the pandemic and have done well and maybe even seen their wages go up," Flood said. The Los Angeles bank gave away about £30million of groceries in the first three months of this year, down slightly from the previous quarter but still well above the £22million given away in the first quarter of 2020. Feeding America's Fitzgerald is calling on the USDA and Congress to find a way to restore hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods recently lost to the end of several temporary programs to help people in need. USDA merchandise, which can generally account for up to 30% of the groceries distributed by banks, accounted for more than 40% of all groceries distributed by the Feeding America network in fiscal 2021. "There is an urgent need for the public sector to buy more food now," Fitzgerald said. During the Trump administration, the USDA bought billions of dollars in pork, apples, dairy, potatoes and other produce in a program that gave most of it to food banks. The Food Purchase & Distribution Program, designed to help American farmers harmed by tariffs and other US practices. Another temporary USDA Farmers to Families program providing emergency relief provided more than 155 million boxes of food to needy families across the U.S. during the peak of the pandemic before the end on May 31, 2021, a USDA spokesman noted notes that the agency is using $400 million from the Build Back Better initiative to secure agreements with state, territory and tribal governments to buy food from local, regional and underserved producers who can donate to food banks, schools and other nutritional programs are given. He said high fuel costs also made it much more expensive to collect and distribute food. The USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which included Farmers to Families, has been "a boon" for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, which provided £5 billion in goods in a single year, spokesman Altfest said. Altfest said up to 10% of people looking for food now are here for the first time, and a growing number are walking rather than driving to save on gas. "The food they get from us helps them save already stretched budgets for other expenses like gas, rent, diapers and baby food," he said. Meanwhile, the bank's grocery purchases have surged from a monthly average of $250,000 before the pandemic to as high as $1.5 million due to food prices. Skyrocketing gasoline costs forced the bank to increase its fuel budget by 66%, Altfest said. Supply chain issues are also an issue, requiring the food bank to be more aggressive in sourcing. "We used to back-order when our inventory was down to three weeks, now we back-order up to six weeks in advance," Altfest said. He said the food bank has already ordered and paid for whole chickens, stuffing, cranberries and other holiday items that it will distribute for Thanksgiving, the busiest time of the year. At the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Montebello, east of Los Angeles, workers say they see many families along with the elderly, like Diane Martinez, who walked in line one last morning. They carried cloth bags, boxes, or wheelbarrows to collect their grocery packages from the bank's Los Angeles distribution center. "Grocery prices are so high and they're going up every day," said Martinez, who thanked the bags of black beans, ground beef and other groceries.


Small businesses face high inflation and fears of a recession

For those seeking small business financing for capital expenditures, lenders are slowly but surely increasing their small business approval rates. (Author: Gardener)

Companies look to advances in technology to improve financial results This week we learned that inflation in June was 9.1%, the highest in 40 years. Combine these factors with excess saving (imposed by pandemic rules that curbed economic activity), the availability of stimulus funds, and low interest rates, and you have a recipe for today's high inflation. “High inflation is the biggest challenge to maintaining our jobs goal and the biggest drain on individuals and families, particularly low- and middle-income households, who are directing a larger portion of their spending toward essentials… Spending and pricing decisions, people and companies meet every day on their expectations of future inflation, which in turn depend on whether they believe the Fed is sufficiently committed to its inflation target.” According to the June 2022 NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, inflation remains one of the biggest problems for small businesses. More than a third (34%) of small business owners say inflation is their number one concern in running their business, up six points since May and the highest since the fourth quarter of 1980. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell in June fell 3.6 points to 89.5, marking the sixth straight month below the 48-year average of 98. The percentage of small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months fell seven points to a net minus of 61%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year survey. According to this widely used index, expectations for better conditions this year have worsened month by month. The net percentage of owners expecting higher real sales declined 13 points to minus 28% since May 2022, a sharp decline. · Fifty percent of owners reported vacancies that could not be filled, down one point from May but very high historically. · The net percentage of owners increasing average selling prices fell three points to 69% net in seasonally adjusted terms from a record high in May. However, more than half (51%) of business owners said they had made capital expenditures in the past six months. Of those who made investments, 37% reported spending on new equipment, 23% purchased vehicles, and 14% improved or expanded facilities. According to the NFIB Index, 23% of business owners are planning capital investments in the next few months, but that number is down two points since May 2022. Increased their small business loan approval rates according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. The percentage of loan approvals at big banks (over $10 million in assets) rose to 15.4% in June from 15.3% in May, while small bank approvals also rose to 21.1% in the month from 20.9% in May June rose. Among nonbank lenders, approval percentages improved slightly, although credit union loan approvals declined: * Institutional lenders approved 25.6% of loan applications in June, a tenth of a percent more than 25.5% of loan applications in May. * Approval rates for alternative lenders rose to 27.1% in June from 26.9% in May. * Credit unions slipped slightly to 20.5% in June from 20.6% in May. Bank loan approvals have increased every month of 2022, which is a positive development for small businesses looking for capital. But like everything else, interest rates have risen, so the cost of capital has risen. In fact, according to a report from CNBC, traders are betting that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates by 1 percentage point at its July 26-27 meeting. On Thursday, July 14, the Dow fell more than 100 points on news of disappointing earnings from major banks, including JPMorgan Chase, whose shares fell 3.5%. Morgan Stanley fell 0.4% while Goldman Sachs fell 3% before reporting quarterly earnings on Monday, July 18. Looking ahead, Bank of America's 2022 Small Business Owner Report found that 70% of business owners plan to raise financing in the year ahead. * Entrepreneurs believe new technologies will be critical to business growth and risk mitigation. * Business owners are also preparing to adapt their selling strategies to a digitized world, and 44% plan to prioritize digital selling over brick-and-mortar selling in the next decade. Similarly, in the financing of small businesses, credit institutions that had not digitized their processes are increasingly doing the same. While many of the larger financial institutions have developed the capabilities themselves, more and more local and regional banks are partnering with platforms like Biz2X that allow them to take the loan application process online. The majority of small business owners seeking capital today begin and complete their applications online -- often outside of business hours, nights and weekends. Meanwhile, the Bank of America study reports that 70% of business owners have adopted new digital tools and strategies for their business in the last 12 months, including more commercial banking online or via mobile apps (52%) and more forms of cashless payments ( 43%).


Barcelona plan drastic action this weekend to convince Frenkie de Jong to finally accept Man Utd transfer

Both Barcelona and Man Utd want the midfielder to move between them this summer and his current employers are ready to up the pressure with new promotions. (Author: Gardener)

BarcelonaBarcelona could embark on their pre-season tour of the United States without Frenkie de Jong in a bid to convince him to join Manchester United, according to a report. De Jong is a key target for Manchester United this summer following the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager. However, De Jong wasn't entirely convinced about joining Manchester United. A sale would benefit Barcelona, ​​who need to make room on their payroll, as well as United, who need to strengthen their midfield. But De Jong's attitude stopped the transfer. There's a feeling he doesn't want to leave Barcelona without receiving deferred wages owed to him. Against this background, there was talk of an ultimatum from United for the transfer to take place. A breakthrough came earlier Thursday when a deal was reportedly reached with Barcelona on his transfer fee. Now it's up to both clubs to convince De Jong of his move. According to Diario Sport, Barcelona are considering a strategy of skipping De Jong from his pre-season tour of the United States. Friendlies against Inter Miami, Real Madrid, Juventus and the New York Red Bulls will take place until the end of July. Sport suggest De Jong may not belong. A report from the Catalan source explains that Barcelona could make their stance clear to the 25-year-old by keeping him at home. They are ready to up their pressure on De Jong and believe it could be the necessary step to convince him that his future will no longer lie with Barcelona despite his contract there running until 2026. Both Barcelona and Man Utd seem to have pretty clear ideas about where he should go. But De Jong has yet to decide. The two clubs will have to convince him to make a decision about his future. Barcelona could struggle to register new players if they can't release him. In that sense, they could plan a future without him. An omission from their preseason tour would make it blatant. Over the weekend, De Jong's status at Barcelona - and how it affects him - could become clearer. If he is to change clubs, he needs to develop some understanding of his new surroundings. The sooner Man Utd get the result they want, the better it should be for everyone. READ MORE - Anthony Martial future: Man Utd officials make decision on French star as article 'Barcelona plan to take drastic action this weekend to convince Frenkie de Jong to finally approve Man Utd transfer accept,” appeared first on


Barcelona tell Frenkie De Jong he must leave and accept Manchester United's offer

Barcelona have informed Frenkie de Jong that he cannot stay at the club and must accept Manchester United's offer. (Author: Gardener)

Manchester United'sIt has been reported for some time that the two clubs have agreed on a transfer fee for the Dutchman, but Barcelona have made it seem like it's up to de Jong whether he stays or leaves. The consistent narrative from the player was that he wants to continue at the Camp Nou. The Athletic then revealed on Thursday morning that United have agreed to pay Barcelona €75m (£63m) with a further €10m in add-ons. That's more than United have offered so far. Reports over the summer have also revealed that United have received hints from De Jong that he would be willing to accompany Erik ten Hag on his journey to rebuild United, although several others stressed De Jong's unwavering desire to remain at Barcelona. United's persistence in the negotiations suggested there must have been something De Jong or his team said that piqued the Reds' interest. Nobody wants to give up a position of power in negotiations. The apparent breakthrough came in the early hours of the evening today when Barca launched an all-out briefing campaign to try and oust De Jong from the club. Barcelona had not commented publicly on the negotiations as of today (Thursday), despite reports suggesting they will have to sell De Jong, who is currently their highest-paid player. The Athletic have since returned with an update, explaining that "Barcelona's hierarchy have informed De Jong that they need to sell him to offset their inflated wage costs." The report also claims that "Barcelona are trying to persuade De Jong that a move to United would be the best step for his career." Catalunya Radio released a report saying that Barca believe United's new offer would be 'hard to refuse'. There is also the club's intention to close the deal within days. This would add to the news from earlier this week when John Murtough and Richard Arnold paid a visit to Barca officials and reportedly insisted that the deal be finalized by Friday regardless of whether the player stays or leaves. With de Jong's salaries and Barca's relentless pursuit of new players this summer, they must comply with La Liga's new regulations and move the Dutchman on to register signings such as Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen. De Jong has been Ten Hag's No. 1 target since the former Ajax man took over at United. For a long time it seemed United were fighting a losing battle, but now a positive outcome seems to be on the horizon. De Jong's initial wish to stay at his dream club may not be fulfilled but Barcelona's treatment of a player who has agreed to take less money to help the club out of a difficult situation has been nothing short of pathetic. With advanced negotiations now on the home stretch, De Jong could be reunited with his former boss as early as next week and at a club who want his services fully.


Raphinha explains Leeds-Barcelona move as LaLiga club react by urging four stars to find new clubs

Raphinha has spoken of his "dream come true" as he prepares to complete his long-awaited transfer from Leeds United to Barcelona on Thursday. (Author: Gardener)

Leeds-BarcelonaRaphinha has spoken of his "dream come true" as he prepares to complete his long-awaited transfer from Leeds United to Barcelona on Thursday. The saga has dominated many headlines this summer after two years shedding light on the Premier League at Leeds. In fact, the £17m fee they paid Rennes for him in 2020 seems like one of the best deals the club has struck. However, agreeing a deal with Barcelona was far from easy. Weeks of negotiations threatened to derail, with first Arsenal and then, more importantly, Chelsea reaching an agreement with Leeds. But Raphinha's desire to only sign for Barcelona was evident very quickly - although this was only possible after his agent Deco stepped in with an ultimatum to the Blaugrana. Ultimately, it's no surprise to see Raphinha grant his wish. Barca will pay Leeds £49m initially, with add-ons the fee increases to £57m. And after the two clubs finally confirmed their agreement, Jesse Marsch was forced to explain why Leeds had to sanction his departure. Raphinha is set to sign a five-year deal worth around £101,000 a week at the Nou Camp. While the transfer saga has left a sour taste, the player is leaving Leeds United with everyone's best wishes. And with the transfer likely to become official on Thursday, Raphinha has spoken of his delight at the move and how when they called he just had to make a move. Speaking to BarcaTV, Raphinha said: "It's a dream come true for me, not only for me but also for my friends and family. They knew it was a dream of mine to come here. All I can do now is do my best and try to help Barca to be what it always was.” I like to win, every time I lose it's very difficult to accept . "So you can expect a player who is always fighting, always trying to win, even in training. I will fight to become a better player. I saw Ronaldinho come here and achieve so much, and then Neymar too. It's an honor for me as a Brazilian to come here. I hope to achieve the same goals that these two players achieved.” They are also said to owe the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Gerard Pique millions in wages. As such, the club has been active in both star swapping and signing this summer. Indeed, alongside Manchester United target De Jong, this report listed eight other stars who are up for sale. Now, according to the Daily Express, Barcelona have reacted to Raphinha's impending arrival by telling Four Stars they should leave urgently. Barcelona are hoping to claim around £40m from the quartet's sales. And it has been clarified that if they stick around, they won't feature in Xavi's squad next season. Meanwhile, reports in Germany have revealed the four bonus payments Leeds will have to meet when transferring Marc Roca.