Category Archives: Bed Bugs Arkansas

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  Friday 12th of May 2023 04:16 AM

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Tenants displeased over US-funded apartment updates – Arkansas Online

The Hickory View apartment renovations arent working for residents that was the message a group of tenants delivered in a news conference Thursday in front of the publicly funded North Little Rock apartment building.

Tenants complained that in recent months, as theyve moved into apartments at the 171-unit tower that have been renovated under the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program, safety equipment such as grab bars in showers and emergency call buttons arent widely available, but water leaks, bedbugs and mold are near-constant presences.

Hattie Temple, 56, has lived at the tower for five years and spoke at the news conference. She said that before the renovations, she loved her home. She lives on one of the highest floors and can see the city from her apartment.

Now, she said, she worries about her elderly neighbor who no longer has hand rails in her shower. She said many tenants are afraid to shower because of the risk of falling. She also said there are frequent water leaks and shes had water soaking from her bathroom to the living room.

Its just got to be too much, Temple said.

The federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program began under former President Barack Obama and expanded under President Donald Trump. Its a way for local housing authorities to repair public housing facilities across the country. Local housing authorities partner with private companies to fund renovations and manage the apartments.

The developments no longer serve as traditional public-housing projects, but become part of the Project-based Section 8 program, which gives each tenant a rental voucher to help with payments. Tenants pay 30% of their incomes to rent under the program.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments funding to housing authorities has declined for years, contributing to disrepair of many public-housing facilities. North Little Rock is the oldest housing authority in the state, and some of its buildings were constructed in the 1940s.

In 2012, the North Little Rock Housing Authority decided to participate in the federal program, and Hickory View formerly known as Heritage House was one of eight properties selected to undergo the renovations.

BGC Advantage, a Louisiana-based company, is responsible for managing Hickory View now, said Belinda Snow, the North Little Rock Housing Authority executive director.

On its website, BGC estimates the combined cost of renovations for Hickory View and Cedar Gardens, formerly known as Stephen W. Bowker Apartments, at nearly $34 million in various funds.

The housing authority inspects units regularly to ensure they meet federal standards when a tenant moves in, once a year and anytime there is a complaint and pays its portion of the rent.

We manage the rental assistance, Snow said. We dont manage the property, and we are not involved in the management of property, but we are concerned about the tenants.

The renovations arent finished yet, Snow added.

The plans have been reviewed and approved by all involved city, state and federal agencies, BGC chief executive officer Holly Knight said in a written statement.

The ultimate goal for this renovation is to modernize the units while providing quality of life enhancements for all residents, including an additional elevator and community rooms, Knight said. As the process for completing these renovations continues, it is important to note that any and all concerns communicated to us by residents and resident councils will be responded to directly and in a timely manner.

Knight added that the company wasnt aware of any mildew complaints. The company manages bedbug infestations on a case-by-case basis. She said shower bars are available in 18 units, and more can be requested through the reasonable accommodation process.

The call buttons werent staffed 24/7, Knight said. Therefore, the company felt that the aging and unreliable technology could actually put our residents at risk.

All units previously had grab bars in the showers because most residents were disabled or senior citizens. Now, the management company must have the accommodations in 5% of units, and anyone who requests should be able to get them, Snow said.

The company says it has grab bars in more than the required 5% of units.

Chandra Profit, 60, who was among three tenants who spoke at the news conference, said she had to switch apartments earlier this year because of bedbugs. And in her new unit, water leaks have caused mold, she said. She also wants her old handrail back in the shower because she frequently gets dizzy spells and is afraid of falling.

Were asking to be treated like human beings, she said Thursday.

Profit said she was living at Paris Towers in Little Rock when it underwent similar renovations and didnt like those either, so she was wary of what might happen at Hickory View in North Little Rock.

Neil Sealy, a community organizer with Arkansas Renters United, helped set up the news conference. He said his group has gotten calls from Hickory View tenants complaining about conditions.

He said many of the issues stemmed from a lack of communication with residents.

Without really bringing in the tenants, it just doesnt work, he said about the federal program.

Snow said the housing authority had frequent meetings with tenants about the renovations until residents were exhausted about the meetings.

Knight said the company had a tenant meeting Monday.

We believe that while change is always difficult, transparency builds trust, she said.

Tenants said they didnt know about many changes and werent given enough opportunity to tell management what they wanted in their homes.

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Tenants displeased over US-funded apartment updates - Arkansas Online

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Bed Bugs | Central Termite and Pest in Arkansas

Bed Bugs Most of us have only known this small parasitic insect through a well-known saying, Sleep tight, and dont let the bed bugs bite. Truth be known, these insects have followed us throughout the course of human history for longer than most of us can imagine. Originally being a species favoring the blood of bats, cohabitating with our fellow flying mammals in the distant past gave a few of these opportunistic creatures a more easily obtainable food source. Humans! Over time a new species came into being. We now make reference to them as the Bed Bug. Beaten back somewhat by 20th century technology and materials, the 21st century Bed Bug has raised its true Bug self into a dominant pest throughout modern society. International travel, multiculturalism and other factors have been catalysts for the propagation of this species of pervasive insect into the modern world. Although other parasites such as fleas and mosquitos seem far more intrusive into to our everyday lives, no other parasitic insect seems to evoke fear and social stigma more than the Bed Bug. No pathogen or disease has been documented or proven to be transferred through an Bed Bugsencounter with the Bed Bug. In comparison, Bubonic Plague, often called the Black Death of Europe, was the result of a pathogen within fleas and carried by rodent hosts, then being transferred to humans through cohabitation. This series of events decimated a third of the population of Europe in the not so distant past. Malaria, along with other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes has been a constant threat to mankind before and throughout recorded history. The Panama Canal almost never came into being due to our ignorant intrusion into their world. Bed Bugs seem to take a more symbiotic approach with humans. Needing only a blood meal every few days while not endangering its host outside of simple dermal reactions, which some of us never experience, Bed Bugs make a silent peace with those they depend upon for survival. They stay near, but due to their frailty, seek harborage in the safest places within and around our sleeping areas, waiting until they need their next meal. Being crushed and leaving Blood smears on sheets or pillows are often the result of us turning in bed while they are feeding or retreating to a Bed Bugsharborage area. While within their safe harborage areas, they utilize their blood meals and molt into the next stage of their life cycle. Bed Bugs exhibit a form of insect biology called Gradual Metamorphosis. An entomological term meaning that upon emerging from an egg, the Nymph, or First Instar is a tiny version of the adult although without reproductive capabilities. First Instar Bed Bugs are tiny and hard to detect even with a magnifying glass unless they are moving. Before their first blood meal they are pale, translucent yellowish white color. A reddish dark spot of colorization appears in the abdomen after the first blood meal and continues throughout the body with each successive molt and blood meal. Bed Bugs, along with other insects, have what is called an Exoskeleton, which mean their skeleton is actually the outside part of their body, as opposed to our Endoskeleton, which means the skeleton is inside the flesh and tissue of the body of creatures such as you and I. In order to grow from one stage to another, Bed Bugs must discard these exterior shells of protection through a process called Molting. The exoskeleton splits apart and enables the Bed Bug to emerge and grow into the next larger stage. These discarded exoskeletons are one of several things to look for when inspecting for Bed Bug activity. After several molts, Bed Bugs reach sexual maturity and begin laying eggs. From this point, a Bed Bug population can expand exponentially and become a major problem. Its only after this process that most Bed Bug situations are discovered for what they are and so many times, panic ensues.

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Bed Bugs | Central Termite and Pest in Arkansas

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James Bennet and a moment of truth – Columbia Journalism Review

James Bennet is done at the New York Times. Last week, the papers opinion section, which Bennet led, published an op-edin which Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, argued that the Trump administration should send in the troops to restore order in US citiesthat elicited a furious reaction inside and outside the newsroom. Bennet initially defended the decision to run the op-ed, but it later transpired that he hadnt actually read it prior to publication. On Friday, he apologized to staff. Yesterday, he resigned. Thus ended the Times career of a figure who managed, simultaneously, to be a leading contender for the papers top editorial job and a reliable lightning rod for progressive fury (though perhaps theres no contradiction there). Bennets defenders credit him with modernizing the opinion page and with ambitious reported work, particularly on the topic of data privacy. His many critics say he sullied the Timess reputation by running a parade of clownish right-wing columns, including, but by no means limited to, work by Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens, both of whom Bennet hired. Bennet also faced a libel suit over language he inserted into an editorial about Sarah Palin. And thats before we get started on the bedbugs incident.

The Cotton controversy wasnt sui generis, but rather a tipping point. On Friday, amid mounting anger among staff, Bennet; Dean Baquet, the Timess executive editor; and A.G. Sulzberger, its publisher, convened a town hall to address employees concerns. Bennet, who reportedly sounded shaken, apologized profusely for the hurt caused by Cottons op-ed and conceded that the opinion section had been stampeded by the news cycle, and that its processes broke down. (He also confirmed that the Times had approached Cotton to contribute something, not the other way around.) According to VICE, Bennet said that this is a moment for me and for us to interrogate everything we do in opinion, including what we mean by a wide-ranging debate.

Related: New York Times public editor: Sen. Cottons op-ed was dishonest, not only reprehensible

At the town hall, Sulzberger appeared to back Bennetasked if there were any plans to address his overall leadership, Sulzberger reportedly cited the singular toughness of Bennets job, and offered some praisebut then came the rupture. Yesterday, Sulzberger said he and Bennet had mutually concluded that James would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change that is required; that job will fall instead to Katie Kingsbury, a deputy opinion editor at the Times who will now lead the editorial page through November. (Jim Dao, another deputy editor, who oversaw the Cotton op-ed, will be reassigned to a different post in the newsroom.) Kingsburys reform remit is still unclear; yesterday, Sulzberger warned Ben Smith, the Timess media columnist, not to interpret Bennets departure as a philosophical shift, whatever that means. What is clear is that a personnel change alone wont be change enough.

Its not just the Times that faces a philosophical reckoningas I wrote in Fridays newsletter, since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests that followed, journalists across the US are urging their bosses, often publicly, to reimagine the role of journalism, particularly when it comes to coverage of race. Over the weekend, two newsrooms I mentioned on Friday saw further tumult. At the Philadelphia Inquirerwhere staffers called in sick and tired on Thursday in protest of a headline, Buildings Matter, Too, that the paper acknowledged was deeply offensivethe top editor, Stan Wischnowski, said he would step down. At the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettewhere management had benched Alexis Johnson, a Black reporter, from protest coverage over an innocuous tweetMichael Santiago, a Black photographer, said that hed been benched, too, and editors removed and rewrote two protest stories, further intensifying anger among staff. Elsewhere, the Daily Beast reported that staffers at Maven Media Brands, which publishes Sports Illustrated, demanded (seemingly successfully) that management remove Blue Lives Matter, a pro-police blog, from the companys platform. And in his column yesterday, Smith reported on ongoing quiet agony over issues of race and representation at the Washington Post, which had its own tense town hall on Friday.

Amid converging crises, and with massive protests taking over the streetsin big cities and small towns alikethis feels like a tipping point in American history. It feels like a tipping point for journalism, too, or at least a crystallizationa moment of serious reckoning with industry structures, be they concerned with rhetoric or representation, that for too long have allowed injustice, particularly around race, to flourish. Old notions of view-from-nowhere, both-sides journalistic neutrality were never actually neutral, but rather an edifice of calcified biases. Over time, as social mores have changed, the ground underneath the edifice has shifted. Often, such changes have been imperceptible; more recentlyand in the Trump era, in particularweve felt the friction, as the moral blindspots in the old definition of neutrality have been exposed and weaponized against the press. In this convulsive moment, cracks are starting to show in the edifice itself.

Bennets departure from the Times is one such crack, and a significant one. His section produced much of value, but often bent over backwards to preserve a hidebound conception of open debate; in the process, it legitimized lazy (and sometimes dishonest) thought as an equaland necessarycounterpoint to much better work. Thats symptomatic of a broader philosophical failure in American journalismone which applies to the news side, too, despite the traditional firewall between information and opinion. Tipping points past have not actually been tipping points; time will tell if Americas many flawed edifices survive this latest round of cracks, or if they start to tumble. In the journalism world, we have a collective power to make this moment of introspection a moment of transformationto replace ways of thinking that keep failing us and build better ones, in which moral clarity and life experience are central, not shunned, and in which the truth is the truth, not a simulacrum contrived to placate outside critics. It is a moment, in other words, to interrogate everything we do.

Below, more on the protests, and this moment for journalism:

Other notable stories:

ICYMI: The Story Has Gotten Away from Us

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James Bennet and a moment of truth - Columbia Journalism Review

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Jails working to keep inmates and staff safe from COVID-19 – KOLR –

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The Medical Center for Prisoners, the Fed Med, is actively trying to prevent its inmates from getting COVID-19 in a variety of ways.

Along with masks being handed out to prisoners and staff, soap is available throughout all federal institutions and in cells.

Like the Fed Med, factories began production on cloth face masks, non-surgical medical gowns and packaging hand sanitizer.

The inmate movement has decreased nationally by 92% from this time last year and suspended visitations.

Heres a statement we got from the Federal Bureau of Prisons today:We realize that suspending social visiting has an impact on inmates and their loved ones, but our primary purpose in doing so is to help keep them and the community safe. In order to compensate for the absence of in-person visits, we increased monthly telephone minutes for all inmates from 300 to 500 minutes in recognition of how important it is for families to stay in touch during this time.

Those calls are free right now through the remainder of the pandemic.

The Greene County Jail, according to sheriff Jim Arnott, is disinfecting and screening people for the virus.

Arnott talked about the jails efforts in an Ozarks Tonight with David Oliver.

We do that every day and have had to do that for 50 years because the thing that you have, you have a large amount of people in one location so before we screened for bedbugs and lice and other diseases, Arnott said. Now were just adding COVID-19 on top of it. And basically cleaning everything with disinfectant in the booking area and doing very good screening inmates that come in and if we do a good job of that as much as we can, were going to eliminate the chances of someone getting infected on the inside.

Twenty-two Greene County deputies have self quarantined, and 18 are back at work.

There are currently over 50 positive cases of COVID-19 within the Federal Bureau of Prisons System in Missouri and Arkansas with no deaths.

To read more from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, click here.

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Petition to update TMC RP and use ClO2 to combat coronavirus – Commercial Carrier Journal

The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) S.4 Cab & Controls Study Group is charged with helping improve the design and maintenance of cab components and systems to enhance the drivers ability to properly, comfortably and economically operate highway vehicles, but they just might play a front-line role in keeping the trucking industry safe from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Last fall, at TMCs meeting in Raleigh, N.C., the group pushed forward a recommended practice (RP) update approving the use of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) to combat bed bug infestation in a truck cab. RP 443 showed ClO2 was 100% effective in the removal of bed bugs, with the additional benefit of complete odor removal.

Six months later, and now in the throes of a global pandemic, Maverick Transportation Regional Service Manager Greg Johnsen started looking into if carriers could use the chemical in the fight against COVID-19, simply leaving bed bugs as collateral damage.

The RP protocol for eradicating bed bugs using ClO2 calls for a bucket with one gallon of water on the bunk and another with one gallon of water on the floor with an aerator placed into the buckets. Photo courtesy TMC RP 443

I started digging into ClO2, said Johnsen. Upon reading the literature I could find online, I noticed this product will kill just about everything. This product is used heavily in the mold remediation industry as well as for removing smoke odors from fire damage.

Johnsen reached out to a chemical manufacturing company, who confirmed that ClO2 was effective against pathogenic micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses.

On March 18, he sent an email to TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell, urging him and the group to consider adding another update to RP 443, this time endorsing ClO2 as effective as a coronavirus decontamination agent in the cab of a truck.

That this virus can be killed with soap and water is reported by the CDC. Viruses are a fragile organism outside the body, unlike mold spores or other spores which have a hard shell, he said, noting that because it is effective against spore-forming bacteria, chlorine dioxide can also be used against anthrax. As this product kills [spores], it seemed to be a natural progression in my opinion.

Johnsen placed an order March 20 for enough ClO2 tablets to sanitize 50 Maverick trucks and has since used it 23 times, out of an abundance of caution, he said. Two uses were prompted by drivers who reported feeling ill, but didnt test positive for coronavirus. The chemical now, and going forward, is part of the Little Rock, Arkansas-based carriers regular cab sanitation practices.

The original thought process was, if the driver gets sick we can use this to sanitize the truck, he said. Secondarily, we decided any time a driver leaves us, were going to use this process to prep the truck for the new driver out of an abundance of caution.

Johnsen, who tested negative for COVID last week, noted that the product was far from a silver bullet, but given that the coronavirus is such a serious and widespread issue, said he feels we are very close in getting the RP update passed after barely more than a week of conversation among S.4 stakeholders.

When dealing with an issue of this proportion, he said, you want to make sure the Is are dotted and the Ts crossed.

A battery-operated aerator, like the one shown above, is placed into the buckets in a truck cab along with a ClO2 pellet according to RP 443 bed bug protocol.

The RP protocol for eradicating bed bugs using ClO2 calls for the removal of all soft goods from the cab, including mattress and curtains, and sealing vents and door seams. Visible signage should be placed in the window warning not to enter the truck, and that a treatment is taking place. A bucket with one gallon of water is placed on the bunk and another with one gallon of water on the floor with a battery-operated aerator placed into the buckets. A ClO2 pellet is gently placed in each bucket, aerators turned on and the cab sealed, and left for five hours (24 hours if you dont use an aerator). When the process is complete, all APU and cabin filters should be changed.

As for how the process itself might differ in attacking the COVID coronavirus, Johnsen said that is a work in progress as the update is still in the final review phase with S.4.

However, the short version, he said, is we can fully sanitize a Class 8 tractor in less than seven hours. Ten hours if you include three hours that the virus could live as an airborne contaminate.

The protocol for the cab disinfection method, as posted to TMC Connect this weekend, is to open the refrigerator and all cabinets in the truck and sleeper berth, affix treatment signs to all exterior truck entry points and tape over exterior vents with non-marring tape to seal the cab. Place one gallon of water in a pail, hang the battery-powered aerator on the edge and extend the hose with an air stone to the bottom. Place the pail in the center of the truck on the floor, turn on the aerator and place a 100 gram ClO2 tablet into the pail and exit the truck cab, closing vents, doors and windows for five hours or until vapors cease and water is clear. Leaving overnight is ideal. When the ClO2 solution has turned clear, it can be disposed of via discharge into a sanitary sewer. After treatment, flush the treated space with fresh air for up to one hour or until the odor has dissipated. This can be expedited using a fan or blower. After replacing the cabin air filter and bunk air filter, the truck can be returned to service.

When used as a liquid, you spray it on a surface and walk away, Johnsen said. No need to wipe off or clean afterwards, as it is a disinfectant. We can do this vapor process for about $20 per truck. A small cost for keeping our driver and technician population safe.

If sanitizing using ClO2 in liquid-form, open the cabinets and refrigerator, cleaning any highly soiled surfaces with an appropriate cleaner. Select a container size-appropriate for a ClO2 dilution level of 500 parts per million (ppm) a 20 gram ClO2 tablet for a gallon of water, or a 100 gram ClO2 tablet for 5 gallons of water. Gently place the tablet into the water and allow two to three minutes to dissolve. Check the solution with a test strip to confirm its strength is between 250 ppm and 500 ppm, and fill a wet fogger or sprayer with the ClO2 solution. Wet fog or lightly spray all surfaces, ceiling to floor, allowing five minutes of wet contact time. No wiping or rinsing is required, and allow surfaces to dry before returning the truck to service.

Chlorine dioxide can be used in vapor- or a liquid-form, but as a liquid it is more fragile and its effectiveness is vulnerable to sunlight. Once diluted from tablet- to liquid-form, it has a shelf life of up to six months if stored correctly in an air-tight opaque container out of direct sunlight.

For in-cab treatment, the vapor and liquid methods can be combined, with the deeper cleaning vapor treatment being performed first and the liquid treatment applied afterward to surfaces and/or common touch points.

A nationwide buying frenzy on most consumer disinfectants is already underway, and with stores across the country struggling to keep up with demand for Lysol and bleach, Johnsen said his local chemical supplier has already told him theres an increased demand for ClO2.

He called and said he just sold 1,000 packs, he recalled. I asked him how many he had left and he said 50, and I told him, well now you have 25, because I want half of them.

See all ofCCJs COVID-19 coronavirus coverage at this link.

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