Early Childhood Education Gets $21M From FEMA

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BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending more than $21 million to reimburse the state's Department of Early Childhood Education and Care for personal protective equipment and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The $21,435,775 public assistance grant will reimburse the department for purchasing and distributing PPE and cleaning/sanitizing supplies to more than 6,100 child-care providers at no cost so they could remain open during the pandemic.
 
Disinfection supplies distributed included 14,445 gallons of bleach and 28,802 cases of disinfectant wipes, while the PPE purchased included 235,600 KN95 face masks, 21,495,700 standard face masks, and 44,173,000 latex medical gloves between February and June 2022.
 
"FEMA is pleased to be able to assist the Massachusetts Department of Early Childhood Education and Care with these costs," said FEMA Region 1 Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. "Providing resources for our partners on the front lines of the pandemic fight is critical to their success, and our success as a nation."
 
FEMA's Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency.
 
So far, FEMA has provided more than $1.4 billion in public assistance grants to Massachusetts to reimburse the commonwealth for pandemic-related expenses.
 
Additional information about the program is available here. To learn more about the COVID-19 response in Massachusetts, visit here.

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Owner of Abandoned Cats Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman accused of abandoning more than a dozen cats during snowstorm a year ago has pleaded guilty. 
 
Kelly Hathaway of Pittsfield pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of animal cruelty in Central Berkshire District Court as part of a plea agreement. Following the plea agreement, she was ordered to have a mental health evaluation and follow any after care as instructed by the court.
 
She was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. She is not allowed to possess any animals and was ordered to surrender any she has in her care. She is also prohibited from volunteering with any animal groups.
 
Hathaway and another defendant were charged last March with abandoning 15 cats on back roads in Richmond and Lanesborough after an investigation by Lanesborough Police, Lanesborough Animal Control and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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