165 VIPs urge 20 economic powers for billions for COVID-19

Posted on: April 7th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Dozens of current and former global leaders and other VIPs are urging the world’s 20 major industrialized nations to approve $8 billion in emergency global health funding to speed the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for COVID-19

165 VIPs urge 20 economic powers for billions for COVID-19

Posted on: April 7th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Dozens of current and former global leaders and other VIPs are urging the world’s 20 major industrialized nations to approve $8 billion in emergency global health funding to speed the search for a vaccine, cure and treatment for COVID-19

Sheriff: Louisiana man kills kidnapped woman after escape

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities in Louisiana said a man kidnapped a woman and fatally shot her when she escaped

Sheriff: Louisiana man kills kidnapped woman after escape

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities in Louisiana said a man kidnapped a woman and fatally shot her when she escaped

REI: Stores stay shut, workers furloughed, no pay for CEO

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

REI says it will keep its 162 retail locations closed and furlough some of its roughly 14,000 employees without pay for 90 days as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to halt much of the retail industry

REI: Stores stay shut, workers furloughed, no pay for CEO

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

REI says it will keep its 162 retail locations closed and furlough some of its roughly 14,000 employees without pay for 90 days as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to halt much of the retail industry

Body of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter recovered

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Maryland authorities say they have recovered the body of the daughter of former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after she and her son went missing after a canoeing accident

Body of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter recovered

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Maryland authorities say they have recovered the body of the daughter of former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after she and her son went missing after a canoeing accident

Businesses wait for word, money after applying for SBA loans

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Small business owners hoping for quick loans from the government were in a holding pattern _ waiting on their bank to either take their application or, if it did, send them the money

Businesses wait for word, money after applying for SBA loans

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Small business owners hoping for quick loans from the government were in a holding pattern _ waiting on their bank to either take their application or, if it did, send them the money

NYC’s grim contingency as coronavirus deaths rise: Temporary mass burials

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The rising death toll from coronavirus in New York has city leaders contemplating temporary mass burials for patients who die from the infection.

“If we need to do temporary burials to be able to tie this over, to pass the crisis, and then to work with each family on their appropriate arrangements, we have the ability to do that,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

A document from the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and obtained by ABC News outlines surge capacity plans in the event that the city runs out of refrigerated space for deceased persons. According to the plan, “the need for temporary interment on Hart Island may arise.” The report also makes it clear that the deceased would be buried individually in caskets, and that temporary interment or burial is not to be confused with a final burial.

Hart Island, located off City Island in the Bronx, serves as the city’s public cemetery. Run by the Department of Correction, the island is the final resting place for over 1 million individuals, with an estimated 30,000-50,000 burial plots remaining.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner report also mentions the use of the Department of Defense’s “temporary mass interment method,” which calls for laying bodies in caskets lengthwise, up to 10 at a time, to avoid stacking bodies and to minimize digging.

The 688-page document does not reference possible usage of NYC parks for temporary burial, a contingency controversially suggested by City Council member Mark Levine on Twitter and then to ABC News.

“We are running out of freezer space. We will find a NYC park and put people in trenches 10 in a line. It will be dignified and it will be orderly,” said Levine, who also chairs the council’s health committee.

In a series of tweets early Monday, Levine reported that a typical hospital morgue might hold 15 bodies, and the refrigerated trailers that are now a common sight outside most city hospitals hold around 100 bodies. Levine stressed that the goal of the contingency plan is to “avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.”

Mayor de Blasio adamantly denied reports that first surfaced from Levine’s tweets, with his spokesperson telling ABC News, “We are NOT currently planning to use local parks as burial grounds. We are exploring using Hart Island for temporary burials, if the need grows.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also weighed in at his daily press briefing, confirming that he’d heard the “wild rumors” and added that he would not support the idea.

As hospital and city morgues continue to fill, families of coronavirus victims are also facing shortages in available funeral homes. In contrast to the first responders who are in need of personal protective equipment, these last responders need one thing: space.

Funeral directors told ABC News that the usual process for dealing with the deceased — including hospital morgues, the freezer trucks, the funeral homes and cemeteries — is being critically stressed with the spike in coronavirus-related deaths. As Levine put it, the “death system is overwhelmed.”

According to the New York State Funeral Directors Association, there are approximately 350 funeral homes in the New York City area, including Westchester County and Long Island. “There definitely are some operating at capacity right now, especially those in the Brooklyn and Queens area,” their spokesperson told ABC News

At Kearns Funeral Home in Queens, not far from hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital, owner Patrick Kearns is a fourth-generation funeral director who normally serves about 35 families a month. Last month alone Kearns said his his funeral home served 80 families, and he said he’s been forced to turn some families away.

“Right now I have no choice,” he said. “It’s going to become an issue and the city will need to assist these hospitals in storing and holding people until the funeral homes can catch up.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NYC’s grim contingency as coronavirus deaths rise: Temporary mass burials

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(NEW YORK) — The rising death toll from coronavirus in New York has city leaders contemplating temporary mass burials for patients who die from the infection.

“If we need to do temporary burials to be able to tie this over, to pass the crisis, and then to work with each family on their appropriate arrangements, we have the ability to do that,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

A document from the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and obtained by ABC News outlines surge capacity plans in the event that the city runs out of refrigerated space for deceased persons. According to the plan, “the need for temporary interment on Hart Island may arise.” The report also makes it clear that the deceased would be buried individually in caskets, and that temporary interment or burial is not to be confused with a final burial.

Hart Island, located off City Island in the Bronx, serves as the city’s public cemetery. Run by the Department of Correction, the island is the final resting place for over 1 million individuals, with an estimated 30,000-50,000 burial plots remaining.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner report also mentions the use of the Department of Defense’s “temporary mass interment method,” which calls for laying bodies in caskets lengthwise, up to 10 at a time, to avoid stacking bodies and to minimize digging.

The 688-page document does not reference possible usage of NYC parks for temporary burial, a contingency controversially suggested by City Council member Mark Levine on Twitter and then to ABC News.

“We are running out of freezer space. We will find a NYC park and put people in trenches 10 in a line. It will be dignified and it will be orderly,” said Levine, who also chairs the council’s health committee.

In a series of tweets early Monday, Levine reported that a typical hospital morgue might hold 15 bodies, and the refrigerated trailers that are now a common sight outside most city hospitals hold around 100 bodies. Levine stressed that the goal of the contingency plan is to “avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.”

Mayor de Blasio adamantly denied reports that first surfaced from Levine’s tweets, with his spokesperson telling ABC News, “We are NOT currently planning to use local parks as burial grounds. We are exploring using Hart Island for temporary burials, if the need grows.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also weighed in at his daily press briefing, confirming that he’d heard the “wild rumors” and added that he would not support the idea.

As hospital and city morgues continue to fill, families of coronavirus victims are also facing shortages in available funeral homes. In contrast to the first responders who are in need of personal protective equipment, these last responders need one thing: space.

Funeral directors told ABC News that the usual process for dealing with the deceased — including hospital morgues, the freezer trucks, the funeral homes and cemeteries — is being critically stressed with the spike in coronavirus-related deaths. As Levine put it, the “death system is overwhelmed.”

According to the New York State Funeral Directors Association, there are approximately 350 funeral homes in the New York City area, including Westchester County and Long Island. “There definitely are some operating at capacity right now, especially those in the Brooklyn and Queens area,” their spokesperson told ABC News

At Kearns Funeral Home in Queens, not far from hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital, owner Patrick Kearns is a fourth-generation funeral director who normally serves about 35 families a month. Last month alone Kearns said his his funeral home served 80 families, and he said he’s been forced to turn some families away.

“Right now I have no choice,” he said. “It’s going to become an issue and the city will need to assist these hospitals in storing and holding people until the funeral homes can catch up.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

AP Interview: LA mayor could curb travel if virus cases soar

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraged by a slowing rate of corornavirus infections in the region but says City Hall could expand  restrictions on public activity if the numbers take a turn for the worse

AP Interview: LA mayor could curb travel if virus cases soar

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraged by a slowing rate of corornavirus infections in the region but says City Hall could expand  restrictions on public activity if the numbers take a turn for the worse

Rate of deaths, illness among black residents alarms cities

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago’s mayor pledged an aggressive public health campaign aimed at the city’s black and brown communities amid alarm that black residents make up an overwhelming number of those to die of COVID-19

Rate of deaths, illness among black residents alarms cities

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago’s mayor pledged an aggressive public health campaign aimed at the city’s black and brown communities amid alarm that black residents make up an overwhelming number of those to die of COVID-19

Police: Florida man fatally shoots wife, 2 sons and self

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities say a Florida man fatally shot his wife and two teenage sons before turning the gun on himself over the weekend

Police: Florida man fatally shoots wife, 2 sons and self

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Authorities say a Florida man fatally shot his wife and two teenage sons before turning the gun on himself over the weekend

Man found dead on Texas State Capitol grounds; cause unknown

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

The Texas Department of Public Safety says a dead man was found on the grounds of the State Capitol

Man found dead on Texas State Capitol grounds; cause unknown

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

The Texas Department of Public Safety says a dead man was found on the grounds of the State Capitol

California, Oregon and Washington donate ventilators and supplies as coronavirus spreads

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(LOS ANGELES) — West Coast lawmakers are lending a helping hand to New York and other states that are in desperate need of ventilators as the novel coronavirus spreads.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he would be donating 500 devices to the national stockpile to meet demand in New York, which has over 130,000 cases and nearly 17,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly warned that the state hospitals would run out of ventilators as the number of hospitalizations surges.

Even though California has 13,438 coronavirus cases and 2,398 COVID-19-related hospitalizations as of Monday, Newsom said he recognized that New York had a bigger battle ahead.

“We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State – and we’re aggressively preparing for a surge – but we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now,” Newsom said in a statement.

California’s donation comes after Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state announced they would share their supplies.

On Saturday, Brown said she donated 140 ventilators because Oregon was “in a better position” with its coronavirus cases. As of Monday, Oregon has 1,068 cases and 258 hospitalizations, according to data from the Oregon State Health Department.

“New York needs more ventilators, and we are answering their call for help,” Brown tweeted.

Cuomo thanked Brown during his daily briefing on Saturday.

“I know Gov. Brown and she is a kind person, but it’s also smart from the point of view of Oregon,” he said. “Why? Because we’re all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus.”

On Sunday, Inslee said he was returning 400 ventilators to the national stockpile and those machines would be redistributed to New York and other states. Washington had 7,984 confirmed cases as of Monday, according to its health department.

“I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” he said in a statement.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

California, Oregon and Washington donate ventilators and supplies as coronavirus spreads

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(LOS ANGELES) — West Coast lawmakers are lending a helping hand to New York and other states that are in desperate need of ventilators as the novel coronavirus spreads.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he would be donating 500 devices to the national stockpile to meet demand in New York, which has over 130,000 cases and nearly 17,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly warned that the state hospitals would run out of ventilators as the number of hospitalizations surges.

Even though California has 13,438 coronavirus cases and 2,398 COVID-19-related hospitalizations as of Monday, Newsom said he recognized that New York had a bigger battle ahead.

“We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State – and we’re aggressively preparing for a surge – but we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now,” Newsom said in a statement.

California’s donation comes after Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state announced they would share their supplies.

On Saturday, Brown said she donated 140 ventilators because Oregon was “in a better position” with its coronavirus cases. As of Monday, Oregon has 1,068 cases and 258 hospitalizations, according to data from the Oregon State Health Department.

“New York needs more ventilators, and we are answering their call for help,” Brown tweeted.

Cuomo thanked Brown during his daily briefing on Saturday.

“I know Gov. Brown and she is a kind person, but it’s also smart from the point of view of Oregon,” he said. “Why? Because we’re all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus.”

On Sunday, Inslee said he was returning 400 ventilators to the national stockpile and those machines would be redistributed to New York and other states. Washington had 7,984 confirmed cases as of Monday, according to its health department.

“I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” he said in a statement.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Son pays tribute to ‘blue-collar’ dad who doctors say died due to COVID-19

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — John Pijanowski was not able to be with his dad, Donald John Pijanowski, in his final moments because doctors said the elder Pijanowski had COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Pijanowski, a University of Arkansas professor, was also separated from his four brothers, who all live in different cities and, because of COVID-19 concerns, could not travel to be together in Buffalo, New York, where their dad died on April 1.

“In that moment I was feeling really alone,” Pijanowski told “Good Morning America.” “For anybody who has ever had that experience [of a loved one dying] you know what it’s like. You huddle around, you’re in the room with him, it’s quiet, you’re crying, sometimes someone will tell a story; you’re with each other.”

Lacking that “camaraderie,” Pijanowski sat down and wrote a tribute to his father. He posted the tribute on Twitter, where it has since gone viral with more than 60,000 likes.

“I want to tell you about my dad,” Pijanowski said in his first tweet about his 87-year-old father. “He was born on October 30, 1932 and he passed away today at 12:07pm, April 1, 2020. The doctors tell us it was covid19 which means we were not allowed in the hospital to be with him for his last days.”

Pijanowski went on to describe his dad as a “great man” who grew up as the youngest of 10 children during the Great Depression, writing, “There are no buildings named after him, he left behind no fortune, and there are no books that tell his story. He was not great in the way we often try to define the term – he was great in that he was such a *good* man – good to his core, unfailingly good.”

“If my dad was doing a job for you then you knew he didn’t just do the parts he thought you could see, he did the entire job and he would not leave until it was done right,” he wrote. “Wherever I went with my dad he seemed like the coolest guy in the room.”

Donald John Pijanowski, a grandfather of four, had taken warnings about coronavirus seriously and had last gone to the store about a week or so before his death to stock up on supplies, according to his son.

The family did not know anything was wrong until Pijanowski’s brother, who lives in Buffalo, went to check on their dad and found him on the floor, so weak he couldn’t get up.

“Even then I thought he just fell or something,” said Pijanowski. “He was fit and a completely self-sufficient guy who lived on his own.”

When paramedics arrived, they rushed Donald John Pijanowski to the hospital, where his family was told he presented with “classic symptoms” of coronavirus, including a fever and pneumonia.

No family members were allowed to be with the elder Pijanowski as he was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, according to Pijanowski. Soon, he slipped into a coma and his kidneys began to fail.

“My dad was incredibly healthy, even though he was 87,” said Pijanowski. “It came on so suddenly for him. It just hit him like a cannon shot.”

Family members have not been able to see Donald John Pijanowski’s body and have just been relying on what doctors have told them about his COVID-19 diagnosis and death, according to Pijanowski. The family is now experiencing a different grieving process than usual, unable to gather together and unable to bury their father.

“It’s easy to feel adrift afterwards when you’re alone and you’re cut off from not just your family and friends but also from all these rituals and traditions that you’d be busying yourself with — planning the funeral and lunch and a wake and writing the thank you cards,” said Pijanowski. “We do it in honor of the people who have passed and not having that work leaves a void so we have to find other work.”

“I like to write so for me, I write. Other people, they have to find their own way because you can’t just be adrift,” he said.

After writing about his dad on Twitter, Pijanowski said he heard from long-lost friends, strangers in Buffalo who shared their own stories of his dad, and strangers who shared their own stories of grief and mourning.

He said he has also received messages from nurses and doctors who assured him that even though his family was not with him, Pijanowski’s dad did not die alone.

“I’ve heard from lots of nurses and doctors who have assured me that even though they’re in a race every minute to save lives, they are taking time to be there for our loved ones when they’re in their last breaths, and to touch them and to love them for us,” he said. “That’s a service that I have such a deep debt of gratitude, not just for the nurses I may never meet who were there for my dad but for the nurses and doctors all over the world who are doing that for other people.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Son pays tribute to ‘blue-collar’ dad who doctors say died due to COVID-19

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — John Pijanowski was not able to be with his dad, Donald John Pijanowski, in his final moments because doctors said the elder Pijanowski had COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Pijanowski, a University of Arkansas professor, was also separated from his four brothers, who all live in different cities and, because of COVID-19 concerns, could not travel to be together in Buffalo, New York, where their dad died on April 1.

“In that moment I was feeling really alone,” Pijanowski told “Good Morning America.” “For anybody who has ever had that experience [of a loved one dying] you know what it’s like. You huddle around, you’re in the room with him, it’s quiet, you’re crying, sometimes someone will tell a story; you’re with each other.”

Lacking that “camaraderie,” Pijanowski sat down and wrote a tribute to his father. He posted the tribute on Twitter, where it has since gone viral with more than 60,000 likes.

“I want to tell you about my dad,” Pijanowski said in his first tweet about his 87-year-old father. “He was born on October 30, 1932 and he passed away today at 12:07pm, April 1, 2020. The doctors tell us it was covid19 which means we were not allowed in the hospital to be with him for his last days.”

Pijanowski went on to describe his dad as a “great man” who grew up as the youngest of 10 children during the Great Depression, writing, “There are no buildings named after him, he left behind no fortune, and there are no books that tell his story. He was not great in the way we often try to define the term – he was great in that he was such a *good* man – good to his core, unfailingly good.”

“If my dad was doing a job for you then you knew he didn’t just do the parts he thought you could see, he did the entire job and he would not leave until it was done right,” he wrote. “Wherever I went with my dad he seemed like the coolest guy in the room.”

Donald John Pijanowski, a grandfather of four, had taken warnings about coronavirus seriously and had last gone to the store about a week or so before his death to stock up on supplies, according to his son.

The family did not know anything was wrong until Pijanowski’s brother, who lives in Buffalo, went to check on their dad and found him on the floor, so weak he couldn’t get up.

“Even then I thought he just fell or something,” said Pijanowski. “He was fit and a completely self-sufficient guy who lived on his own.”

When paramedics arrived, they rushed Donald John Pijanowski to the hospital, where his family was told he presented with “classic symptoms” of coronavirus, including a fever and pneumonia.

No family members were allowed to be with the elder Pijanowski as he was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator, according to Pijanowski. Soon, he slipped into a coma and his kidneys began to fail.

“My dad was incredibly healthy, even though he was 87,” said Pijanowski. “It came on so suddenly for him. It just hit him like a cannon shot.”

Family members have not been able to see Donald John Pijanowski’s body and have just been relying on what doctors have told them about his COVID-19 diagnosis and death, according to Pijanowski. The family is now experiencing a different grieving process than usual, unable to gather together and unable to bury their father.

“It’s easy to feel adrift afterwards when you’re alone and you’re cut off from not just your family and friends but also from all these rituals and traditions that you’d be busying yourself with — planning the funeral and lunch and a wake and writing the thank you cards,” said Pijanowski. “We do it in honor of the people who have passed and not having that work leaves a void so we have to find other work.”

“I like to write so for me, I write. Other people, they have to find their own way because you can’t just be adrift,” he said.

After writing about his dad on Twitter, Pijanowski said he heard from long-lost friends, strangers in Buffalo who shared their own stories of his dad, and strangers who shared their own stories of grief and mourning.

He said he has also received messages from nurses and doctors who assured him that even though his family was not with him, Pijanowski’s dad did not die alone.

“I’ve heard from lots of nurses and doctors who have assured me that even though they’re in a race every minute to save lives, they are taking time to be there for our loved ones when they’re in their last breaths, and to touch them and to love them for us,” he said. “That’s a service that I have such a deep debt of gratitude, not just for the nurses I may never meet who were there for my dad but for the nurses and doctors all over the world who are doing that for other people.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Federal Reserve to boost small business lending efforts

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

The Federal Reserve said in a brief announcement that it would support the government’s $349 billion small business lending program, which had a rocky start Friday

Federal Reserve to boost small business lending efforts

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

The Federal Reserve said in a brief announcement that it would support the government’s $349 billion small business lending program, which had a rocky start Friday

Family’s adoption ceremony done via conference call due to coronavirus

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — As offices adjust amid the COVID-19 pandemic, courtrooms are one of many workplaces that have had to get inventive when it comes to getting their important and life-changing work done.

The Parsons family has been anxiously awaiting the day they could celebrate their growing family with an official court adoption. Because of the coronavirus the venue was moved from a courthouse to a conference call.

Parents Christopher and Tania, who adopted their now 13-year-old daughter in 2017, said they remembered from experience how special the big day was for their family and wanted to cement a similar moment for their newly adopted 7-year-old son Dominic.

“We knew how exciting Angel’s adoption was and how much she loved her special day and how memorable it was,” Tania Parsons told ABC News. “Which we wanted to do again.”

Her husband, Christopher Parsons, said at first the change of plans was a “big bummer,” but said they were “so excited” to make it legal regardless of where it happened. “He’s still gonna be our son officially.”

“It’s still a happy day — we’re so excited,” the mom of two added.

The judge who presided over the Parsons’ adoption, John F. Cherry, joined ABC News’ Pandemic: What You Need to Know and said the unique ceremony “was certainly emotional.”

During the conference call with the Parsons, Cherry told the family, “You two angels, your husband and wife are going to guarantee a life of happiness and love for this child. And the court is so grateful to you for stepping up and wanting to be those angels on Earth for this child.”

The juvenile dependency court judge from Pennsylvania explained that adoption cases are an uplifting and transformative experience.

“I’ve worked with children for the balance of my life and it has a great effect on me personally because I’m there for the worst part of the matter,” he explained. “That is the horrific scenarios that deal with these children who are removed from homes. And then you see the reverse. Children are so resilient who are in loving and caring homes — who come in totally transformed.”

During a typical adoption ceremony in person, Judge Cherry — a former teacher and coach — said he has a treasure chest for kids to take a toy from to help them feel more comfortable in his chambers on the big day.

“I made a promise,” he said, “that when this is over they can all come to Judge Cherry’s treasure chest.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Family’s adoption ceremony done via conference call due to coronavirus

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — As offices adjust amid the COVID-19 pandemic, courtrooms are one of many workplaces that have had to get inventive when it comes to getting their important and life-changing work done.

The Parsons family has been anxiously awaiting the day they could celebrate their growing family with an official court adoption. Because of the coronavirus the venue was moved from a courthouse to a conference call.

Parents Christopher and Tania, who adopted their now 13-year-old daughter in 2017, said they remembered from experience how special the big day was for their family and wanted to cement a similar moment for their newly adopted 7-year-old son Dominic.

“We knew how exciting Angel’s adoption was and how much she loved her special day and how memorable it was,” Tania Parsons told ABC News. “Which we wanted to do again.”

Her husband, Christopher Parsons, said at first the change of plans was a “big bummer,” but said they were “so excited” to make it legal regardless of where it happened. “He’s still gonna be our son officially.”

“It’s still a happy day — we’re so excited,” the mom of two added.

The judge who presided over the Parsons’ adoption, John F. Cherry, joined ABC News’ Pandemic: What You Need to Know and said the unique ceremony “was certainly emotional.”

During the conference call with the Parsons, Cherry told the family, “You two angels, your husband and wife are going to guarantee a life of happiness and love for this child. And the court is so grateful to you for stepping up and wanting to be those angels on Earth for this child.”

The juvenile dependency court judge from Pennsylvania explained that adoption cases are an uplifting and transformative experience.

“I’ve worked with children for the balance of my life and it has a great effect on me personally because I’m there for the worst part of the matter,” he explained. “That is the horrific scenarios that deal with these children who are removed from homes. And then you see the reverse. Children are so resilient who are in loving and caring homes — who come in totally transformed.”

During a typical adoption ceremony in person, Judge Cherry — a former teacher and coach — said he has a treasure chest for kids to take a toy from to help them feel more comfortable in his chambers on the big day.

“I made a promise,” he said, “that when this is over they can all come to Judge Cherry’s treasure chest.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Chicago mayor: Virus deaths in black community ‘devastating’

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago’s mayor says the city is launching a health campaign focused on black and brown communities

Chicago mayor: Virus deaths in black community ‘devastating’

Posted on: April 6th, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago’s mayor says the city is launching a health campaign focused on black and brown communities