MILLVALE, N.S. — A Nova Scotia town is grieving the loss of a family of six, including four children, whose bodies were discovered Sunday evening following a fire in a travel trailer.

Officers were called to Mountain Road in Millvale, N.S., Sunday at around 6:30 p.m. and members reached the area half an hour later after travelling a back road to the location, RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall said Monday.

He said when the Mounties arrived, they discovered the bodies inside the nine-metre long trailer.

Robert Sears said in an interview Monday that his 30-year-old son Robert Jorge Sears had died, along with his common law partner, Michelle Robertson, 28, and four children: Madison, 11, Robert Ryder, 8, Jaxson, 4, and Colin, 3.

“He was a great Dad and loved everyone, especially his family,” Sears said of his son, adding that his son had worked for a food services company in the area.

He said the family, who lived in Amherst, N.S., had been at the trailer for a short stay, and he was still awaiting information on what had happened.

It will be up to the fire marshal’s office to establish the cause of the fire, but police say a preliminary investigation suggests it was not suspicious. The medical examiner’s office will be determining the exact cause of death.

The RCMP’s Marshall said the news has been devastating for all those in the area who knew the family.

“It takes a toll on the community at large,” he said. “It’s a difficult circumstance and it’s tragic.”

Millvale is a small community in Cumberland County near Westchester Valley, about 50 kilometres southeast of Amherst and the New Brunswick border. In Amherst, a memorial site with a large photograph of the family was set up Monday in a park.

Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, the local member of the provincial legislature, said the school attended by three of the children, Cumberland North Academy, has been hit hard by news of the deaths.

She said the memorial “is especially needed where there are a lot of children in our community who will need help grieving through this.”

Marshall couldn’t say who owned the trailer but identified it as a nine-metre ultra-lite Passport trailer that was located on a private property. The exterior of the trailer was intact and “it wasn’t like we had to comb through rubble,” he said, in describing the scene.

“It’s our belief at this time it is not a suspicious fire … but we will remain there until the fire marshal’s office has confirmed this is not a criminal incident,” he added.

The time of the fire is unknown, and it’s possible it had occurred during the previous night, he said: “My understanding is the family member who went in to check on them and then called police hadn’t heard from them since the day before.”

Amherst Mayor David Kogon said he can’t recall any time in the past 40 years when his town has had a similar death toll from a

Adds details on outlook, cash flow, background

Aug 4 (Reuters)Air New Zealand AIR.NZ said on Wednesday its fiscal 2022 loss would be bigger than earlier expected due to suspension of a quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia, where COVID-19 cases are growing.

The travel bubble, which was launched in April as the two nations kept a tight leash on infections, was paused in July as Australia recorded an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta virus variant.

Air New Zealand said it now expects a loss before significant items and tax of as much as NZ$530 million ($371.8 million), compared with its prior forecast of a loss not exceeding NZ$450 million.

The company said that the suspension of the travel bubble had reduced its operating cash flow and that it expects to draw down further on a NZ$1.5 billion loan facility from the government.

While the carrier warned that demand in the Tasman region may be slower to recover following a reopening of the bubble, it said its cash flow was still positive, thanks to continued domestic performance and government schemes.

Australian airline Qantas QAN.AX said on Tuesday it would temporarily idle about 2,500 employees without pay for at least two months, as fresh COVID-19 restrictions in Australia slashed domestic travel demand.

($1 = 1.43 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

(([email protected];))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Qantas planes are seen at Kingsford Smith International Airport, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

  • Loss slightly narrower than prior year
  • Underlying EBITDA in line with market expectations
  • To bring back 5 A380s earlier than planned

SYDNEY, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) on Thursday said it was preparing for international travel with countries with high vaccine rates to resume in December as it reported a slightly narrower annual loss of A$1.73 billion ($1.26 billion).

The airline, which grounded its international fleet in March 2020 due to closed borders, said it planned to bring back five of its 12 Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A380 super-jumbos by mid-2022 to fly to the United States and Britain, a year earlier than previously forecast.

It is a hopeful sign for travel in the Asia-Pacific region, where borders are largely closed and international travel is 95% below pre-COVID levels, though the Qantas plan is dependent on government decisions.

Australia set a target last month for 80% of adults to be fully vaccinated for a calibrated reopening of its international borders. read more

At present, more than half the population is locked down due to COVID-19 outbreaks and just over 30% are fully vaccinated, though forecasts say the country could reach 80% by the end of the year as more doses of imported vaccines arrive.

“When Australia reaches those critical vaccination targets later this year and the likelihood of future lockdowns and border closures reduces, we expect to see a surge in domestic travel demand and a gradual return of international travel,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said.

Pending government decisions, Qantas said it expected flights to countries with high vaccine rates like Singapore, Japan, the United States, Britain and hopefully New Zealand to resume from mid-December.

Flights to places with lower vaccination rates like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and South Africa would restart from April 2022 at the earliest, it added.

“One of the biggest unknowns is the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers entering Australia,” Joyce said. “If it’s 14 days in a hotel, demand levels will be very low. A shorter period with additional testing and the option to isolate at home will see a lot more people travel.”

The airline forecasts international capacity will reach 30% to 40% of pre-COVID levels in the third quarter and 50% to 70% in the fourth quarter.

Qantas reported underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of A$410 million for the 12 months ended June 30, in line with the average figure expected by 11 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The statutory loss of A$1.73 billion, including impairments and restructuring charges, was better than last year’s A$1.96 billion loss.

The airline reported A$3.8 billion of liquidity as of June 30, down A$200 million from April 30.

The domestic market had performed strongly in the fourth quarter when state borders, often closed at times of small COVID-19 outbreaks, had been largely open.

But the country’s most populous city,

Carnival Corporation has reported a net loss of $2.1 billion the second quarter of 2021.

The group ended the period with $9.3 billion of cash and short-term investments, however, which the company believes is sufficient liquidity to return to full cruise operations.

Cash burn rate in the first half of 2021 was better than forecasted primarily due to the timing of proceeds from ship sales and working capital changes, Carnival said.

The group still lost around $500 million a month though.

The figures come as Carnival charts a course to relaunch cruise operations over the coming months.

Carnival Corporation chief executive, Arnold Donald, noted: “We are working aggressively on our path to return our full fleet to operations by next spring.

“So far, we have announced that 42 ships, representing over half of our capacity, have been scheduled to return to serving guests by this fiscal year end.

“We are currently evaluating various deployment options with a focus on maximising cash flow, while delivering a great guest experience and serving the best interests of public health.”

More return to service announcements will be coming in the weeks ahead, Donald added.

In a statement to markers, Carnival said booking volumes for all future cruises during the second quarter of 2021 were 45 per cent higher than booking volumes during the first quarter of the year.

Cumulative advanced bookings for full year 2022 are ahead of a very strong 2019, despite minimal advertising or marketing, the group added.

ELIZABETH, NJ — On May 25, students and families of Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy were made aware of the death of a fellow student through a letter sent by Principal Michael Ojeda. 

Kevin Issac Goldsmith passed away the day prior at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia after complications with his Leukemia treatment. Kevin was a junior at the high school, known for being a student who was always willing to lend a hand. He had a love for music, playing many instruments including the guitar. His passion for baseball led him to playing for many teams across the City of Elizabeth and Union County, participating for many travel clubs and teams. 

“While we mourn his loss, we take solace in the example he set and the spirit of friendship he shared with all of us,” said Principal Ojeda in a letter sent to the parents and teachers. “We honor his memory by living out the best virtues that he embodied and extending care and grace to our fellow students, staff, and families.” 

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Kevin’s father Joel set up a GoFundMe page, asking for people to help cover funeral expenses and any unpaid medical bills. At the time of publishing, the page had raised over $23,000- almost five times the original goal of $5,000. 

Many of those who donated to the fundraiser shared their memories of Kevin to the page. One of the top donations was from a group of people who called themselves School 27 Family. The group also expressed the fond memories they shared with Kevin. 

“Kevin walked the halls of School 27 proudly with his baseball bag hanging on his back. He smiled bright and always greeted his friends and his teachers. He made us laugh all the time and blessed us often with his musical talent. We were lucky to have him as a part of our family. We pray for his family and hope that they find solace knowing what a wonderful young man he was. He meant so much to us. May he rest in eternal peace.” 

Former teachers and other educators also donated to the GoFundMe page and shared their memories of having Kevin in their classroom. One teacher shared the memories she had along with her donation. 

“It is with heartfelt condolences that I write this loving tribute on behalf of your beloved son, Kevin. As a student, Kevin left a lasting impression on this educator. Seems like only yesterday that Kevin and I would be discussing his baseball stats or favorite rock bands of the ’70s and ’80s,” the teacher wrote. “Kevin was also a huge hit when he played the guitar at our talent show rocking a new hairstyle! Kevin was a true gentleman who was compassionate and kind. Kevin lived a life with purpose and passion,” she concluded.

Kevin is survived by his loving parents

Thomas J. Weber

Rex and Brody Reinhart, the two young boys believed to have been killed by their father this week, were elite youth baseball players known across the region for their passion about the sport. It defined their short lives.

Teammates, coaches and parents of players – along with the boys’ family members in Gainesville – have mourned their loss since the boys’ deaths Tuesday. Their mother, Minde Reinhart, 42, has been a fixture at ballfields across Florida cheering for her sons. The two had played since they were very young.

Brody, 11, regularly an unofficial batboy for the No. 10-ranked University of Florida baseball team, was seen by tens of thousands of fans at games returning bats to the home dugout after a hit. Rex, 14, was a dominant pitcher in his age group, coached on a travel team by former Major League star Gary Sheffield, 52, of Tampa, who admired his tenacity.

Through her grief, Minde Reinhart posted her first tribute to her sons on Facebook this week: “No words describe what I feel. But knowing they loved every second of life and baseball will keep their memories alive.”

A day later, she published a photo of both boys in their baseball uniforms, adding: “My babies!! #theywilllivewithmeforever.” Nearly 800 people quickly responded.

What happened:Two Florida boys killed by their father in apparent murder-suicide, authorities say

Eerie parallels:Man suspected of killing young sons, himself mirrors case of brother who killed ex-wife’s boyfriend then attempted suicide

More:Paul Reinhart texted ‘You’re going to live with this the rest of your life’ to his wife. Hours later, he and his sons were dead

Baseball permeated the boys’ lives, cementing friendships even with rival players across Florida. The family is close friends with Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who lives a short walk from their home. A painted mural on a city wall in Gainesville to honor the boys this week included baseball seams. When Brody delivered a book report in school, he chose a text about Willie Mays.

Players and their parents from across the United States, including Georgia, Mississippi and New Jersey, have offered sympathies and condolences for the loss of the brothers.

In an online tribute, Rex’s team, the Florida Heat, highlighted his talents on the field, his likability and his iconic look with his flowing, black hair curling from beneath a batting helmet.

“Rex made an immediate impact on the team and in the lives of his teammates, both on and off the field,” the team said in a statement. “He was kind, generous, funny, talented, and a bit of a fashion icon with his flow and sunglasses. His loss is profound and we are reeling.”

The vehicle of an investigator from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office is parked May 4 outside the home of Paul O. Reinhart, 46, of Gainesville, after Reinhart was suspected of killing his two young sons and then himself at the family's vacation home 50 miles away in Cross City. One of Reinhart's sons, 11-year-old Brody, was regularly a bat boy for the No. 10-ranked University of Florida baseball team.

A rival player of Brody in Tallahassee, Brayden Smith, 11, said the two met after a game about 18 months ago. During a break between games, they found an open field and played a spontaneous pickup football game. They became fast friends and afterward communicated by Snapchat and text,

The losses reported are “direct hotel property jobs,” which include front desk agents and housekeepers. They do not include any job loss from industries the hotel industry supports, such as restaurants, retail, transportation and small business vendors, the report said. The state had 22,467 of these jobs in 2019 and 17,433 in 2020, for a loss of 5,034 jobs.

The jobs count in 2021 as of February is 18,979, according to the report. The association anticipates a loss of 3,488 jobs by the end of 2021 compared with the 2019 figures.

Iowa neighbors Minnesota and Illinois lost approximately 35% of these jobs in the industry while Wisconsin lost 27%, South Dakota lost an estimated 17%, compared  to 25% jobs lost in North Dakota.

Nationally, the industry lost around 29% of these jobs and the association anticipates a loss of another 478,000 jobs by the end of 2021 compared with the 2019 figures.

The association and labor union UNITE HERE are lobbying in support of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, which would provide grants to hotel owners or operators to help with payroll and benefits costs for workers and a personal protective equipment tax credit of 50% of costs associated with purchasing equipment and technology to reduce the impact of the pandemic. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, D-Fla., introduced the bill.

“While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will provide critical support to hotels and their workers during this crucial period,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement. “We need Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act to help hotels retain and rehire employees until travel demand, especially business travel, begins to come back.”

“The good news is that Iowa added 15,100 jobs in March, which indicates we continue to recover from the pandemic,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in the April 16 news release. “The largest gains were in construction, manufacturing, and hospitality. It is good news for Iowa that the hospitality industry added over 4,000 jobs since December, as that indicates people are getting out and doing things we took for granted pre-pandemic like visiting our local restaurant or movie theater. I am hopeful this return to normal will continue across all industries and help us return to our usual low unemployment rate.”

The leisure and hospitality industry has added 4,100 jobs since December 2020, mostly within accommodations and food services, according to the release.

The pandemic has distorted a previously strong labor market, leaving predominantly lower income workers, women, Hispanic and Black workers unemployed.

Now the vaccine rollout, warmer weather and the reopening of the economy are bearing fruit, helping the jobs recovery to strengthen. Economists polled by Refinitiv on average predict 978,000 jobs were added in April, up from the 916,000 positions added in March. But many of those forecasts far exceed the average: Jefferies (JEF) is predicting 2.1 million jobs added, and Goldman Sachs (GS) forecasts 1.3 million, according to Refinitiv.
Still, America is down millions of jobs — more than 7 million should the consensus forecast hold — compared to February last year, before the pandemic hit. Economists are confident that many of these lost positions will come back over the course of the year.
On Wednesday, the ADP Employment Report, which measures private payrolls, said 742,000 jobs were added in April, mostly in the services sector, particularly in leisure and hospitality. The report, which is not correlated with the government’s tally, has undershot the official numbers in recent months.
Meanwhile, weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell to 498,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That marked the first time during the pandemic that weekly claims fell below 500,000. Although jobless claims remain more than double their level from before the pandemic, last week counted more than 40,000 fewer claims than economists had expected.

“The pick-up in employment growth isn’t as strong as we had been expecting, especially given the recent boost to demand from the fiscal stimulus, and could be a sign that the increasingly widespread reports of labor shortages are starting to constrain hiring,” said Andrew Hunter, senior US economist at Capital Economics.

Indeed, there are some industries in which businesses are hard pressed to find workers. Factories and manufacturers continue to have trouble finding specialized and even entry-level workers. Industry executives say many potential employees worry those jobs aren’t sustainable because they could be sent overseas or replaced by automation.

This worker shortage could put pressure on wages to rise, which could be reflected in the April jobs report, economists said.

How the Fed could react

The Federal Reserve is also watching the labor market improvements closely. After all, achieving “maximum employment” is one of the two mandates for the central bank.

The other is to keep inflation steady. But the reopening of the economy, as well as higher raw material and energy costs are pushing prices higher. The Fed has said repeatedly it is too early to talk about raising its ultra-low interest rates or tapering its monthly, multi-billion dollar asset purchases.

But the confluence of economic data is setting the stage for a potential policy change later this year: The price index tracking personal consumption expenditures, which is considered the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, stood at 2.3% for the year ended in March. Paired with strong job gains, this could make the central bank change its tune.

The Fed

The pandemic has been devastating for the leisure and hospitality sectors in the U.S., with 3.1 million jobs lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 330% higher than the rest of the economy. And, despite the trend toward loosening COVID-19-related restrictions among many states, “the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long,” as a press release from the American Hotel & Lodging Association put it Monday. It noted that while there has been an uptick in leisure for spring and summer, “business travel — the largest source of hotel revenue — is down 85% and is not expected to begin its slow return until the second half of this year. Full recovery is not expected until 2024.”

The association released new data Monday on job losses in 2020 and projected job losses through the end of 2021. The five states projected to lose the most hotel industry jobs in 2021 are California (67,169), Florida (39,560), New York (38,028), Nevada (22,282) and Hawaii (20,029). The numbers are for direct hotel jobs like housekeepers and front-desk agents. New Jersey lost 15,851 hotel jobs in 2020, according to the study, compared to 2019 employment numbers. And it’s projected to lose 8,900 by the end of 2021.

Tue, May 4th 2021 01:50 pm

3.1 million leisure, hospitality jobs lost during pandemic; hotels expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs
Hotel industry calls on Congress to provide targeted relief with Save Hotel Jobs Act
Download fact sheet on 2021 state job loss here

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) recently released new data showcasing the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 on hotel industry employment, including projected hotel job loss through the end of 2021. Without targeted relief from Congress, nationwide, hotels are expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs. Hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid.

The top five states projected to end 2021 down the highest number of jobs include:

  • California: 67,169 jobs lost
  • Florida: 39,560 jobs lost
  • New York: 38,028 jobs lost
  • Nevada: 22,282 jobs lost
  • Hawaii: 20,029 jobs lost

The release of this data follows the introduction of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, legislation to provide targeted federal relief to the ailing hotel industry workforce including up to three months of full payroll support.

AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers union in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act. The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), provides what AHLA called “a lifeline to hotel workers, providing the assistance they need to survive until travel returns to prepandemic levels.”

AHLA added, “Unfortunately, the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long. The recent uptick in leisure travel for spring and summer is encouraging for hotels, however, business travel – the largest source of hotel revenue – is down 85% and is not expected to begin its slow return until the second half of this year. Full recovery is not expected until 2024.” 

“While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will provide critical support to hotels and their workers during this crucial period,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We need Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act to help hotels retain and rehire employees until travel demand, especially business travel, begins to come back.”

AHLA stated, “No industry has been more affected by the pandemic than hospitality. Leisure and hospitality has lost 3.1 million jobs during the pandemic that have yet to return, representing more than a third of all unemployed persons in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more stark, the unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 330% higher than the rest of the economy.

“Empty or permanently closed hotels have also had a ripple effect on communities throughout the country, hurting a wide range of businesses that rely on the presence of hotel guests, such as restaurants and retail, hotel supply companies and construction. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community,