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An Illinois city is mulling building tiny houses for homeless veterans
BEARDSTOWN — Beardstown City Council is considering building something tiny in hopes of helping homeless or struggling veterans in a big way.
Quincy-based organization 2x4s for HOPE was launched about five years ago to build tiny homes that then are given free to veterans.
Members Billie and Paula Burge will speak Tuesday during the council's committee meeting, giving a presentation on the organization's completed projects in Quincy and Mount Sterling and discussing how Beardstown could move forward with its own 2x4s for HOPE project.
Billie Burge said the organization helps veterans who are homeless or unable to buy their own home by building small, completely furnished houses.
The houses they build are 14 feet by 30 feet and cost roughly $34,000, which is funded through donations, volunteer work and fundraising efforts.
"These are veterans that are struggling financially or are unable to afford their own homes," Burge said. "They deserve to live good lives. We feel our veterans have earned it."
The organization works with communities to raise funding for the homes.
After hearing from other communities about the organization's work, council members wanted to learn more about it, Mayor Leslie Harris said.
Harris believes the program could be beneficial for Beardstown, but the council will decide whether to pursue it, she said.
"We have several lots where the houses have been torn down," Harris said. "This is something that could benefit both the veterans and our community."
If the council is interested in going forward with a project, the council would look at zoning ordinances and other city procedures that would affect construction, Harris said.
"I feel in the past, there wasn't enough done for our veterans," she said. "We have a very active VFW and this is something that we can potentially do to help."
After a 2x4s for HOPE home is built and presented to a veteran, the new homeowner is responsible for the home's utilities and property taxes, though the organization can help them connect with assistance resources, if needed.
"There are a lot of struggling veterans in this country," Burge said. "This is hopefully something other communities will start doing."
©2019 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) - Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.
"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"