Tortoise Grove is now Tortoise Glen after years of questions about name’s connotation

TORTOISE GLEN, FREEDEMIA- That’s right. Tortoise Glen. Not Tortoise Grove.

While the transition is still underway, the mayor and city council (with huge support from the community) finally voted almost unanimously to change the name of the town to Tortoise Glen after years of debate.

The questions centered around the connotation and definition of the word “grove”. While it appears the intentions of city founders were pure, the term “grove” in its original definition was “a place for worshipping idols”. This didn’t go over well with the extremely God-centered community, not with its leaders, nor with its residents.

“I love this town,” Carol Senthia, a local mom active in her church stated when asked. “I have no intention of leaving. But I just don’t feel comfortable with the name implying a place where God doesn’t come first. Because that’s just not true.”

However, even some of the ones who disliked the name’s connotation felt it should stay, as they felt it was actually meant to be the legacy of the one who originally started the first settlement there in 1821, Grover Glensworth, who had originally called the spot simply “Tortoise”, after the large amounts of turtles and tortoises in the area.

Debates continued for years. Some had perhaps felt calling the town “Glensworth” was the solution. That name came close in several city elections, but always lost by a few votes, with many saying that while it acted as a memorial to the founder, it took away the parts that actually reflected Glensworth’s life and legacy, especially the “Tortoise” part.

Finally, at the end of December, Mayor Willie Carson called an emergency town meeting to discuss a new proposal- “Tortoise Glen”. That way, the name would still remain similar enough to be recognizable, the “Tortoise” part Glensworth had dubbed the town with would remain, and the “Glen” part would still reflect the legacy of Glensworth.

The vote happened on Friday and got 96% of the votes of the residents and a unanimous approval by the city council. Some sign changes, street name changes and manual edits to Open Geo Map and Glofish Maps happened already over the weekend, and will continue into this next week.

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Belphenian ceremonial leader, prime minister ends their 10-day Latina tour

Remiville (Sakura News Center) – The 10-day tour across Latina came to an end for the two Belphenian leaders, Reiko and Erza Beard.

On the morning of Friday, January 22, Belphenia’s ceremonial leader Reiko Beard and Prime Minister Erza Beard arrived in Topahappan and greeted more Latinians during their last day of the Latina tour and left the city on Saturday afternoon to Latina International Airport back home to Belphenia. “Latina is great. We have a wonderful time being here to see new things here. But it is time for,me and my sister Erza to say goodbye to our nakama (friends) here in Latina and head back home to Remiville in Belphenia. On behalf of the people of the Theocratic People’s Kingdom of Belphenia, we would like to thank you for welcoming us to this country. I am very satisfied with our tour in Latina”, Reiko said.

“Maybe someday, we would like to go back to visit Latina again on our next tour sometime in the future because they are a peaceful, strong country. And as we left the airport and headed out back to Belphenia in southeastern Uletha and landed there in Remiville, we got word that Princess Gertrude of Maydien wanted to see Reiko in Zerephine City, and Maydien’s royal family, and Erzaleria’s Mahoe ‘Aukai will go on their tour across Belphenia during the Great Heart months of Abiesa and Makegami, which it is between late January and early March. And as for our Latina tour, it was the best tour we had and are satisfied with it”, Erza said.

At Remiville International Airport, the two leaders made it back home safely without any problems as their Latina tour came to the end.

Belphenia and Latina has embassies already built in the two countries and has diplomatic relations with each other since 2014.

Mundo Escape to have Betterview-rides

MONDANA – Mundo Escape has signed an agreement with the Freedemian movie production company Betterview Pictures. The amusement park, which is located in Mondana, near Benicar, is now allowed to use Betterview movies, characters and tv shows in their rides and features.

There are no ideas about new rides or other Betterview features in the park announced now, but there will be in the future.

Mariana will participate in 2016 International Foosball World Cup

BENICAR – Today is annouced that Mariana will participate with a team of 4 players in the 2016 International Foosball World Cup (IFWC). This will be the first time ever for Mariana to participate. The team will exist of Rolán Benítez (Pabella, Pabella), Alfonso Alba (Narvas, Barzona), Manuel Alba (Narvas, Barzona) and Mauricio Patino (Benicar, Benicar Region).

Mariana is the last of 32 countries that will participate on the tournament. The other countries include Ardisphere, Belphenia, Castellán, Freedemia and a lot more.

This year, the IFWC is not held in the capital of Freedemia, Quentinsburgh, like other editions, but is held in Franklinsburgh. This is because the 2016 Geolympiad will be held in Quentinsburgh.

The tournament will be organised in April 2016.

Vienna to Allow Foreign Developers

FLINTSVILLE, NV – President Volkman signed new legislation this afternoon that overhauls the country’s zoning and building regulations. The Domestic Commerce and Foreign Investment Act of 2016 establishes a nationalized zoning system and helps to reorganize the nation’s building codes. The new standardized code of zones are listed:

RESIDENTIAL:

R1- Single Family Detached (Standard Homes)

R2- 2-6 Unit Multifamily Detached (Condos, Apartments, Townhomes)

R3- Single Family Attached (Rowhomes and similar structures)

R4- 2-6 Unit Multifamily Attached (Connected Apartment Buildings/Condos, etc.)

R5- High Rise Residential

COMMERCIAL:

C1- Low Density Commercial

C2- Financial Services (Banks, Loan Offices, Pawn Shops)

C3- Automotive (Dealerships, Mechanics)

C4- Lodging (Hotels, Motels, Bed and Breakfasts, etc)

C5- Petroleum Services (Gas Stations, Propane distribution, etc)

C6- Large Format Food/Retail (Grocery, Supermarkets, ‘Big Box’)

C7- Restaurants

C8- General Commercial Offices

C9- Adult Entertainment (Bars, Nightclubs)

INDUSTRIAL:

I1- Warehouse Industrial

I2- Low Profile Manufacturing

I3- High Profile Manufacturing

I4- Mills

I5- High Polluting Industrial

OTHER ZONES:

A- Amusement (Theme Parks, Mini-Golf, Aquariums, Zoos, etc.)

E- Educational Services (Private Schools/Universities, Libraries, Museums, etc)

M- Medical

MO- Medical Offices (Non-Patient Handling)

MP- Medical, Patient Handling (Clinics, Outpatient Services, etc.)

P- Parks

S- Sports (Stadiums, Gyms, Health Centers)

T- Theaters/Cinemas

A major goal of the Commerce and Investment Act is to open Vienna to prospective developers from around the world. Volkman pushed hard for tighter regulations on foreign developers so as to create a positive and productive working relationship.

In a test, the government has decided to tentatively allow developers access in the Flintsville area of North Vienna. In order to get a building permit, developers must apply to the government. Currently, access is being granted ONLY to the area surrounded by SR 231 (Warehouse Road), PR 79, and Hospital Road. Also, a portion of land between State Road 4 and PR 79 has been added. Labels have been added showing what zone individual lots/areas are. Large lots are able to be subdivided. Within the city of Flintsville, unlabeled lots are Residential R1 and are also open for developers.

When applying for a building permit, applicants must describe what they intend to build. Zones may be modified to accommodate a new development, but shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Adjacent lots may be acquired.

No Driveways will be allowed on roads with a speed limit OVER 55 Miles Per Hour.

Any new roads must be approved by the Government. New roads MUST be named.

Belphenian leaders visits central Latina, unaware of the ‘Resurgence of a Fateful Day’ controversy in Belphenia

Scippo, Latina (Sakura News Center, Remiville, Belphenia) – Latinians in central Latina gets their chance to see the Belphenian leaders Reiko and Erza Beard for their first time in Redondo and Scippo as their 10-day tour is about to come to a close.

Unaware of the pop song controversy taking place in Belphenia, Reiko and Erza Beard left Gentofte Sunday and arrived in Redondo. While visiting Lake Redondo, the two Belphenian leaders took photographs of themselves and the scenic views of the lake and visited more landmarks and tourist-designated areas across the city.

But when the Prime Minister of Belphenia started practicing speaking Latinian, Justin Kernwell of the Belphenia Secretive Protection Force, informed Erza that there is an outrage from samurai, pirates, families, and victims of the Battle of Shirahoshi about pop singer Araki Isono’s latest single, “The Resurgence of a Fateful Day”, is becoming a serious concern on social media and broadcasting in Belphenia. The prime minister was unaware of what is taking place in Belphenia over Araki Isono and her latest single being released on social media.

She had to stop learning her new language and asked her sister Reiko about what is going on in the theocratic nation. Before Reiko Beard, Belphenia’s ceremonial leader, starts listening to the radio, she told her about a song called the “Resurgence of a Fateful Day” on social media. Reiko then does not know what the Belphenian song is about, the two Beards  dismissed the conversation and continued focusing on their tour. “My sister Reiko and I went to Redondo to visit more historic places, and many landmarks including Lake Redondo. And now, this ‘Resurgence of a Fateful Day’ stuff is circulating all over social media. We don’t know what is going on with Araki Isono in Belphenia…”, the prime minister said while talking to the ceremonial leader on their way to Scippo.

On Tuesday, they arrived in Scippo were they were greeted by Latinians at a tourist-designated area in the city’s historic district. She and her sister visit more landmarks and had been taking pictures of the scenery and the cityscape, and buying Latinian souvenirs. But when they stayed at a hotel there in the evening, Reiko turned on the world news and saw a news report from Belphenia about a controversial pop singer posted her latest single on the Internet.

“I am shocked, and offended by what my favorite Flying Petals singer Araki Isono said. This is unloving, unfriendly, and most of all, offensive. This is something that a Belphenian must not to say these cruel lyrics to our warriors, families, and victims of the Battle of Shirahoshi”, Reiko said in disgust and changed the channel to a local news station.

On the morning of Thursday, the two leaders packed up their bags and left the hotel on their way to Topahappan, as their 10-day tour comes to a conclusion.

The national news outlets in Belphenia and Latina had been reporting about the tour since Reiko and Erza arrived in the peaceful nation on January 13. The two leaders will leave Latina in the evening on January 23 and return home to Belphenia on January 24.

Freedemia passes revolutionary federal law making drinking water free, looks into solving public restroom shortage

QUENTINSBURGH- In light of recent heat stroke and dehydration incidents, President Rosenthal and the Freedemian Legislature passed a new federal law making drinking water free or more affordable and more accessible to all. Freedemia is the first industrialized nation to make drinking water universally free and make an effort to subsidize tap water and bottled water to make it have little to no cost to consumers.

The four-fold Water Accessibility and Water Affordability Act (WAWAA) includes an aspect making drinking water free at restaurants, fuel stations, and other public businesses, making bottled water free up to 4 gallons a week, tap water free up to a reasonable amount for daily use, and requiring public places to begin providing water fountains to keep people hydrated.

“In a region this hot, no matter how humid, people need water. We cannot make profits off a resource as important as water while the people suffer. For the health of the region, this change needed to be made. We’re the first industrialized nation to make this jump, and we hope not to be the last.”

While many were concerned about where the money for this was coming from, the change will be using money freed up by SRAFRA (Spending Reduction and Fund Reallocation Act), a bill made law by Rosenthal, VP Morganson (at the time), and the Freedemian Legislature. The bill reduced funding for presidential campaigns and reduced military spending, with the intention of using that money for education, healthcare, and transportation; Rosenthal said she believes that WAWAA would be included under healthcare.

During the creation of the law, attention was drawn to a related problem- a shortage of public restrooms in some areas. In a later interview with PWN, Rosenthal explained her findings, saying “In a hot place like Freedemia, people spending a lot of time outside have to drink way more to not get dehydrated. That means they in general have to go to the bathroom more as well. The problem is, a lot of times they can’t find a bathroom.”

While some cities like Quentinsburgh have made efforts to at least include restrooms in major subway stations and large parks, there really are no laws, not even local or town by town ordinances, requiring public restrooms, especially in open areas like parks and public squares. Business aren’t currently required to provide restrooms to anyone except their employees, so even in areas with lots of businesses and tourists, finding a restroom is often very difficult or sometimes even impossible.

Other aspects vary by city. While the QUARTA system in Quentinsburgh has restrooms at almost all underground stations and some major elevated ones, the VAULT metro system in Laneston and Vandover is completely elevated, so for the most part it has no bathrooms.

Rest stops with no bathrooms are issues as well. While new service stations are being constructed along major freeways like U-4 to help fix the issue, there is currently a 400km stretch of U-4, the busiest unionway in the nation, with 6 rest stops, none of which have public restrooms.

“It’s a real problem, and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, especially as tourism continues to grow and our cities thrive,” Rosenthal stated. “However, we just didn’t feel like it was appropriate to address in this bill. We plan to keep it as one of our biggest priorities for new federal laws, and we hope to have one prepared by next month.”

Many, like Rosenthal, feel the easiest solution is to make it mandatory for certain types of businesses to provide restrooms to the public, not just employees or customers, seeing “customer only” restrooms as almost an unfair tax on a necessary function. “The quickest way to fix this is to just force public places with bathrooms to allow the public to use them,” she stated, when discussing solutions.

Harris Bush, a political analyst for PWN, made this final comment in response to the laws and interviews- “Freedemia is going to lead the world with accessibility to water, no doubt about that; however, they really need to catch up with providing the bathrooms people need because of all that water.”