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Washington vows to stay open if government shuts down

Washington vows to stay open if government shuts down

District of Columbia officials are vowing not to let the looming shutdown of the federal government affect the city's normal functions, with local departments picking up the slack for shuttered federal agencies.At a Friday press conference, with the shutdown due to start at midnight, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser announced, 'Shutdown or no shutdown — D.C. is open.'Vast swaths of the District, including the National Mall and the monuments, are under the authority of the National Park Service. Bowser says the Washington Department of Public Works would assume trash collection duties for the 126 Park Service properties across the District.Washington's police and fire departments are considered essential and would remain fully staffed.However, the National Zoo and the Smithsonian's network of museums would close down starting Monday.

Crunch time: What Amazon wants for its new HQ

Crunch time: What Amazon wants for its new HQ

Just 20 cities are left standing in the competition for Amazon's second headquarters and the 50,000 jobs it will bring.Now comes the hard part for the finalists — and for Amazon. Based on the cities that made the cut, and what the company told some of the cities that didn't, the company will likely scrutinize six key criteria when making its final call. It plans to announce its decision later this year.The 20 cities include Austin, Texas; Atlanta; Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; and Nashville, Tennessee.Here's what's important:— TALENT, TALENT, TALENTAmong all of Amazon's needs, high-skilled workers are at the top of the list. The company has ventured far beyond retail and shipping into cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, drones and voice recognition for its home speaker, the Echo.That's likely to give a leg up to cities that already have large tech sectors, such as Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina, all of which were on Amazon's list.'They're going to want to see that in the current workforce, but will also want a community that can come together and marshal that in short order,' said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Project. That means strong relationships between area businesses, community colleges and universities.Amazon executives bluntly told officials from Kansas City, Missouri, that the region's lack of highly-skilled technology workers cost it a spot on the final list, according to Tim Cowden, CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council.— SIZE MATTERSThe state of Connecticut applied for HQ2, including proposals for Hartford and Stamford. But it was told the cities weren't big enough.'We received positive feedback from Amazon officials, but at the end of the day did not have a large enough metropolitan area for this particular proposal,' Governor Dannel Malloy said.Smaller cities on the list, such as Raleigh, Nashville and Indianapolis might be challenged by the sheer size of Amazon's expected needs. Nine of the nation's 10 largest metros are on Amazon's list.'Even among the largest places on the list, the market for tech workers would be transformed by the new demand for 50,000 workers,' said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, a job listing website.Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, Indianapolis, Nashville, Raleigh and Columbus, Ohio — all among the top 20 — all have populations smaller than Seattle's roughly 3.8 million. That could make it harder for those areas to provide enough top-notch technical, managerial and financial talent.— QUALITY OF LIFENot all those 50,000 workers have to be located right now in whatever site Amazon chooses. The company said its 50,000 hires will occur over 10 to 15 years, and it clearly expects to pull in talent from elsewhere. Amazon says it wants a city with amenities that its future employees will want to move to.That includes everything from bike lanes to fast Internet and mobile phone connections to 'recreational opportunities,' according to Amazon's request for proposals.That could help Nashville, with its music scene, or Denver, with its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. But it could also benefit cities with cheaper housing and lower overall costs, such as Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Philadelphia.'The thing that will attract people more than anything else is an engaging job at a high wage, especially if their high wages aren't eaten up by high housing costs,' Kolko said.— HIGHER EDTo ensure a supply of highly-skilled labor in the future, Amazon said in its request for proposals that 'a strong university system is required.'Most cities on the list can fulfill that demand, Berube and other economists said, with the possible exception of Indianapolis.Columbus is the home of Ohio State, while Nashville has Vanderbilt. Pittsburgh boasts Carnegie Mellon, which houses leading programs on artificial intelligence and robotics.— PLANES, TRAINS AND BUSESOne thing Indianapolis does have going for it, Berube noted, is that city residents recently approved an additional tax to pump millions of dollars into buses and light rail. Most of the other finalists have extensive public transit systems, said Tom Stringer, a managing director at BDO Consulting, who leads the firm's site selection practice.A large, international airport within 45 minutes is also critical, particularly for frequent flights to Seattle and beyond. That could be a roadblock for smaller cities such as Columbus, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.— GOODIESIt won't all depend on objective criteria, to be sure. Newark may very well have landed on the list at least partly because it and the state of New Jersey offered $7 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.'They're not a half-trillion dollar company for nothing, and they are going to see what they can extract,' Berube said.That might inflict pain in the Washington, D.C. region, which has three locations on the list: The city of Washington itself, suburban Montgomery County, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, a collection of counties to the south of the city. The company could play all three against each other, Berube said.Toronto, the only city outside the United States to make the cutoff, has said it won't offer tax breaks or other subsidies.___AP Writers Jim Salter in St. Louis, Missouri and Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this story.

Doctors urge residents not to ignore flu symptoms following Florida man's death

Doctors urge residents not to ignore flu symptoms following Florida man's death

Friends and loved ones are mourning the loss of an Orlando man who his family said died after he caught the flu. >> Read more trending news There have been least two other flu-related deaths, both of which were children, in the state this flu season. Doctors said the symptoms of the flu can get very serious very quickly, which is why it's critical for people to pay attention to the signs and immediately contact a doctor. Over the last week, hundreds of people have been packing medical offices to get treatment for the flu. Loved ones are now grieving the loss of 58-year-old Joe Morrison, a man who they say was a doting father and a former Orlando area news photographer. Morrison's family said he got the flu last week and died within 48 hours. Dr. Richard Elloway, a family medicine physician with Centra Care, did not personally treat Morrison but has treated many flu patients. He said in severe cases, the flu can quickly become deadly. 'Whenever I diagnose the flu, it's generally like a punch in the face. Just hits you really strong,' Elloway said.  The Florida Department of Health said that of the two children in Florida who have died from the flu this winter, one had not been vaccinated and had underlying factors. Elloway said the people most at risk of dying from the flu or its complications are people who can't fight it off as easily as healthier people. 'Generally, the people that die from the flu are either very, very young or very, very old. It's the people who don't have the immune systems necessarily to take care of the virus,' he said. Elloway said Centra Care has been packed in recent weeks with patients showing up with the flu. Centra Care says last week it hit a record high of 874 cases in Orlando. Elloway urges people not to ignore any warning signs if they already have the flu. 'Showing up at a doctor's office 24 to 48 hours into your symptoms, we can diagnose it and treat it,' he said. Health officials said even though the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, it’s still the best way to protect yourself.

Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Build a Habitat home with Clark Howard! Join Clark and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity as we build affordable homes for families in need. It's a fun and rewarding way to give a hand up to hard working families in your community.Sign up here to join our 2018 winter build. Sign up for Clark’s 2018 Habitat for Humanity Build Register here to volunteer for our upcoming build. Clark’s 2018 Habitat build dates are January 18 - March 3.Volunteer slots fill up fast, so plan ahead and sign up early.    Release and Waiver of Liability:Every volunteer is required to register online and agree to Atlanta Habitat's work release form before they can begin helping on the construction site. If you are under 18 years old, you must print and bring a copy of the form signed by your guardian to the build site.Location/Directions:Workday Schedule:Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30am; the workday starts at 7:45am SHARP and ends around 3:30pm.It's crucial that all volunteers arrive on time, as important daily instructions are given then. If you miss the morning meeting, you might not be allowed to work that day.  Lunch will be served around noon at the site. Lunch, Drinks and Snacks:A free catered lunch is always provided for our volunteers, along with hot coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks. There is typically a vegetarian option provided.Parking and Automobiles:Atlanta Habitat strongly encourages volunteers to carpool. Police officers will be on duty, but the fewer cars in the area the better. Remember to remove anything of value from your car.Construction Policies:  No one under the age of 16 is allowed on site – no exceptions. Volunteers ages 16 and 17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability. No smoking allowed on site. Report all injuries to your houseleader immediately to be eligible for secondary health coverage. Weather Conditions:Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine! Workdays are not typically canceled in advance due to adverse weather conditions. If rain or other problems persist, the decision will be made to shorten the workday on site by the houseleader. But everyone should come prepared to work for the entire day. After Day 3 in the schedule, there is enough inside work for all volunteers in case of inclement weather. What to Wear:Volunteers should dress warmly and comfortably for a hard day's work. Clark's build days are some of the coldest of the year, so you will want to layer your clothes and wear something to keep your head warm. Loose clothing and improper shoes can be dangerous.  Work boots or no-skid, thick-sole shoes are preferred. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended as some construction materials can irritate your skin. Bring a pair of work gloves, if possible. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Q: What do I need to bring?A: Nothing. Habitat provides all tools, though if you have a favorite you'd like to work with, see Tools & Equipment below for complete guidelines.Q: Can I bring my kids along to help?A: No, due to workforce regulations, no one under 16 is allowed on site, no exceptions. Volunteers age 16-17 must have a parent or guardian sign their Release and Waiver of Liability.Q: What if it rains?A: Atlanta Habitat works rain or shine, though some houseleaders may decide to shorten the day. After Day 3 there is plenty of indoor work to be accomplished.Q: I have building materials/furnishings/appliances/etc. that I'd like to donate. How do I do this?A: You will need to arrange this directly with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Please contact them at (404)223-5180.Q: My plans have changed. May I cancel my volunteer slot?A: Yes, but PLEASE cancel online at least one week in advance so we can find someone else to take your place. We work hard to provide just the right amount of volunteers each day, specifically chosen to work alongside Clark. We must assure that there are enough hands to accomplish the day's goals, yet also assure that there will be tools and provisions to go around for all.Q: How is Clark involved?A: Clark has been building Habitat homes in Atlanta since 1996. He uses the money he makes from his speaking engagements to sponsor the homes. Learn how he got involved, in Clark's own words!     AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE: Tools and Equipment:Atlanta Habitat provides all tools needed for the build. Volunteers are welcome to bring tools, but Atlanta Habitat is not responsible for lost or damaged tools. If you do choose to bring your own, please take time to clearly mark them with your name and phone number.  Always use the right tool for the job and ask for instructions before using a tool for the first time. Tools should not be loose, dull or poorly adjusted. Please notify the houseleader if unsafe or damaged tools are in use. Check for defective cords, plugs and switches; do not use anything that is unsafe. Never remove or disable tool guards. Ask houseleader for help if a tool jams. Support materials properly before cutting or drilling. Use both hands (if required) to operate a tool safely, if not keep other hand clear. Never place tools where they can fall on someone or cause an accident, e.g. top rung of a ladder, rooftop, railings. Ladders:Many tasks performed on site require a ladder.  Inspect all ladders before use. Set ladder on solid ground. To level, dig a hole on the high side rather than building up the lower side. Use the correct size ladder; never overextend yourself. Do not stretch to the side, instead move the ladder (even if that means re-setting it.) Never stand on top rungs of a ladder. Keep ladder clear of any power lines. Always face ladder and keep hands free while climbing. Safety and Insurance:Construction is considered to be a dangerous undertaking. Volunteers are asked to be as alert as possible to the safety risks. Volunteers under the age of 16 are not permitted to participate or to be present on site for insurance reasons. Habitat carries co-insurance on volunteers, which is activated when the volunteer signs up on site. The insurance will supplement the volunteer's own insurance in case of accidents, and provides basic coverage for volunteers who do not have insurance. First aid kits and insurance claim forms are available from Habitat staff. ALL volunteers must sign in every day that they work; otherwise, they will not be covered under Habitat's insurance.A Clean Work Site:A clean site is a safer work place. As things can quickly pile up, it is best to clean up and put tools away continuously throughout the day.  Do not leave tools or materials where others can trip over them. Organize debris. Please ask the houseleader for direction on what trash may be recycled. Always backdrive or bend nails in boards.    Clark's Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Sponsors  Each year several local and national companies donate their products and services as a way to help our homeowners settle into their new homes more easily. These companies dedicate their time, money and hard work to our home building projects, and, once again, we sincerely thank each one of our generous sponsors:     
Congress slides into a government shutdown, as Democrats derail temporary budget in Senate

In a high stakes game of legislative chicken, the U.S. Senate on Friday night blocked a House-passed bill to fund operations of the federal government for the next four weeks, as most Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to filibuster the spending measure, demanding faster action on immigration matters, driving the Congress toward the first federal government shutdown since 2013.

The vote was 50 to 49 – 60 votes were needed.

“It’s irresponsible,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “The government may be shutting down, but the Senate is not,” as he vowed to keep voting and pursuing a spending [More]