Jan 12, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The federal government today announced the release of $100 million appropriated by Congress recently to help states prepare for a potential influenza pandemic.The money is the first installment of $350 million included in the $3.8 billion emergency appropriation for pandemic preparedness that Congress passed in late December, said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt.Leavitt has been stressing the message that state and local governments must take the lead in dealing with a pandemic at ground level, and he did so again in announcing the funding. “Pandemics happen globally but must be managed at the state and local level, and these funds will help communities meet that responsibility,” he said in a news release.The $100 million will be divided among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and the seven US territories. Each state will get $500,000 plus an additional amount based on population.The state shares range from $622,102 for Wyoming to about $6.7 million for California, according to the HHS release.”The remaining $250 million from the appropriation will be awarded later this year in accord with guidance that will require progress and performance,” HHS said.The agency said states and cities will use the money to step up their planning and to conduct drills to test the plans. “The focus is on practical, community-based procedures that could prevent or delay the spread of pandemic influenza, and help to reduce the burden of illness communities would contend with during an outbreak,” the statement said.Leavitt made the announcement today at pandemic planning “summit” meetings in Vermont and West Virginia. The meetings are part of a series of forums that are expected to be held in every state over the next few months.The recent appropriation came in response to President Bush’s request on Nov 1 for $7.1 billion for pandemic preparedness. That included $100 million for state and local preparedness, an amount that some public health organizations criticized as too small.The pandemic planning money is in addition to federal funds to help state and local governments prepare for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. For fiscal year 2006, Congress recently appropriated about $824 million for that purpose, according to the “CSTE Washington Report” of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.See also:Jan 12 HHS news releaseDec 28, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Pandemic funding, liability shield clear Congress”
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoST. CLOUD, Minn. ? When the weekend began, Wisconsin controlled its WCHA playoff positioning. After a 3-2 loss to St. Cloud State Saturday night at the National Hockey Center, it can only restlessly sit back and wait.Despite winning 2-1 in the series opener Friday, the Badgers (15-14-7, 11-12-5 WCHA) remain just one point ahead of the Huskies (17-14-3, 12-12-2) in the race for fifth place and home ice in the conference playoffs that begin March 14. Without any regular season games remaining, UW can only hold out hope St. Cloud plays poorly next weekend against North Dakota.?It does suck that it?s out of our hands,? Wisconsin defenseman Kyle Klubertanz said. ?But we try and control the things we can control and see what happens.?The Badgers fought hard Saturday, taking a 2-1 lead on goals from Ben Grotting and Michael Davies on the power play. Unlucky bounces and the special teams disparity both in attempts (seven to four) and goals (two to one), however, made the difference.Garrett Roe and Matt Hartman scored during the back-end of an extended 5-on-3 late in the second period.Making those goals hard to digest was the fact that Wisconsin held for much of the one minute, 39 seconds against the top power play unit in the WCHA. Shane Connelly faced only one shot because Blake Geoffrion kept blocking pucks.Unfortunately, the Badger forward?s last block deflected out to Roe in the right faceoff circle, who then buried it top shelf to even the score at 2-2.?We were so close to killing that 5-on-3, we had it,? Klubertanz said. ?It was just one of those nights.?Thirty-five seconds later, Hartman flipped the eventual game winner past Connelly.Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves disagreed with both of the penalty calls on Davis Drewiske and Josh Engel and thought his team shouldn?t have ever been put in that bind.?If you’re going to put us down 5-on-3, in my book, it better be a hell of a call,? Eaves said.Referee Derek Shepard also halted a potential game-tying goal by forward Andy Bohmbach 7:28 into the third period.He blew his whistle prematurely, believing St. Cloud goaltender Jase Weslosky had snared a rebound when the sophomore hadn?t.?He was too far away on that play to blow the whistle,? Eaves said of Shepard?s call. ?I don?t think he worked hard enough on that play.?While the Badgers toughened it out and played like a team with a lot at stake, they didn?t get the quality shots around the net Saturday that they had Friday.?We weren?t as sharp as we were Friday night,? Eaves said. ?We didn?t keep things simple like we did Friday, like getting pucks at the net and bodies at the net.?For some reason we tried to make fancy plays and, as a result, we didn?t create as much offensively.?In the first game of the series, Wisconsin not only learned its lesson by coming out strong on a Friday night ? something the team hadn?t done in several weeks ? but it essentially shut down one of the top offenses in the country in the process.?We talked about if you?re going to beat this team, you?re not going to shut them down, but you want to limit them and their offensive people,? Eaves said.Minus a power play goal 4:03 into the first period, the Badgers held the Huskies in check. They did it with strong defense.?We were in their lanes, blocking shots,? Connelly said, who faced just 15 shots all game. ?What we did tonight was really good.??We just couldn?t make any plays at all in transition,? St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko said.Wisconsin?s offense also did its part, getting goals from Davis Drewiske and Ben Street scored one minute, one second apart to open the second period Friday.Drewiske clanked a shot in just below the crossbar on the man-advantage for his third goal of the season, and Street slapped a rebound out of midair for the game-winner.St. Cloud State took advantage of a penalty for too many men on the ice when the wrong Wisconsin player subbed in 3:23 into the first. Lasch banged home a pass from Andreas Nodl through the crease to give St. Cloud a 1-0 lead. It was a play the Huskies run frequently and that the Badgers expected to see during the series.Practicing for it and actually stopping it during a game situation are entirely different, Connelly said.?When you?re in a game situation, I find it tougher to really try and cheat knowing that Lasch scores a lot of backdoor goals because if I move a little bit too early, Nodl?s going to have a shot,? Connelly said. ?It?s just one of those things you hopefully have to get lucky on.?St. Cloud tried the same play again on the ensuing power play. While Connelly failed to cover his backside in time, the post was there to deflect the puck away. It wouldn?t be the only time the post came into play during the game.In a frantic final minute of the third period, forward John Swanson?s rocket from the hash marks did everything but go into the net. It slammed off the left post, traversed the crease, kicked off the right post and the Badgers held on.