National Farmers Market Week

first_imgFresh tomatoes, fresh okra and heirloom field peas — who doesn’t love a farmers market? Well, it’s time to celebrate the local farmers and organizers who help bring local produce to downtowns and parks across Georgia each summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated August 7-13 National Farmers Market Week.Did you know that direct to consumer sales of fruits and vegetables — like the sales at farmers markets — result in a $14.4 million impact on the Georgia economy, according to a study by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. For more information about local farmers markets in your county contact your county UGA Cooperative Extension Office by calling 1-800-Ask-UGA 1 or search at the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory at www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets .Media: For print-quality stock photos of Georgia farmers markets visit our photo archive at tinyurl.com/UGAFarmersMarketWeek2016 .last_img read more

NEFCU donates $5,000 to Vermont National Guard

first_imgNew England Federal Credit Union,New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) has donated $5,000 to the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation.  Created in 2005, the Foundation serves to meet the emergency financial needs of the men and women of the Vermont National Guard and their families. Bill Smith, NEFCU Senior Retail Delivery Executive, presented a check to Brigadier General Steven Cray on Wednesday, Dec. 7. According to Smith, ‘NEFCU is proud to recognize the men and women of the Vermont Guard in their significant service to our country and state, especially their contribution during Tropical Storm Irene and in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We will not forget their service and loss.’   General Cray stated that ‘The Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation is grateful for the donation and partnership with NEFCU.  Donations like this will be used to improve the lives of the National Guard members and their families that are proud to serve the citizens of Vermont. NEFCU 12.22.2011last_img read more

Corporate culture confusion

first_img“Workers in different positions have different perceptions about who’s calling the shots,” notes an article at benefitspro.com. A significant number of employees surveyed by the Workforce Institute and WorkplaceTrends.com don’t know who’s responsible for determining the culture at their organization.Although one-third of human resources (HR) staff believe their role is to set the company tone, a mere 10% of other staffers agreed.About 25% of company executives claim cultural responsibility, while 11% of HR workers and only 9% of the remaining staff concur.If neither HR workers nor senior management determine culture, it would reason that workers at large are in charge—but, no. “Only 29% of employees believe that they are the most important cultural force in the workplace,” says the article. 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

WHO: Changes in H5N1 virus may promote spread in birds

first_imgFeb 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) says H5N1 avian influenza has infected birds in 14 more countries since the beginning of this month, and recent genetic changes in the virus may have something to do with its rapid spread in birds.The agency said countries that have reported their first cases of H5N1 infection in birds this month, in chronological order, are Iraq, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Iran, Austria, Germany, Egypt, India, France, and Hungary. Authorities in Hungary confirmed today that three dead swans were infected with the virus.In a separate statement yesterday, the WHO said, “Some recent evolutionary changes in the H5N1 virus appear to have made control efforts more difficult and further international spread of the virus in birds more likely.”Among other things, the agency said H5N1 viruses now may be able to infect some wild birds without harming them, making it possible for migratory species to carry the virus for long distances. In addition, H5N1 viruses have grown tougher and more lethal to laboratory chickens.Outbreak situations varyThe outbreak situations in the 14 countries have varied nearly as widely as their geography.Most of the affected European countries have good veterinary surveillance and have found the virus only in a few wild birds, with no evidence of spread to domestic birds, the WHO said. At the other end of the spectrum, Iraq’s bird outbreak was identified only after a fatal human infection was found. In countries such as Azerbaijan and Egypt, die-offs of domestic poultry heralded the spread of the virus. Nigeria and India’s bellwether cases were found on commercial farms.Other than Iraq, which has had two human cases, none of the newly affected countries has reported any human cases. However, the WHO said in another statement today that 15 patients with possible signs of bird flu are under observation in hospitals in the area where India’s outbreak occurred. The patients are being tested for the virus as well.Qinghai Lake virus persistsIn reporting on the H5N1 virus’s evolution, the WHO said viruses from recent avian outbreaks have shown “remarkable similarity” to those found in migratory birds that died at China’s Qinghai Lake wildlife sanctuary starting in April 2005. “Evidence is mounting that this event, which resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 wild birds, signaled an important change in the way the virus interacts with its natural reservoir host,” the agency said.Before the Qinghai Lake die-off, the virus caused only a few scattered deaths among migratory waterfowl, and the latter were not known to carry the pathogen long distances, the agency said.Viruses from Qinghai Lake had a distinctive point mutation that has been linked experimentally with greater mortality in birds and mice, the WHO said. Viruses from the recent outbreaks in Nigeria, Iraq, and Turkey, as well as from earlier outbreaks in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, are “virtually identical to Qinghai Lake viruses.””It is considered unusual for an avian influenza virus causing outbreaks in birds to remain this genetically stable over so many months,” the statement continues. “This finding raises the possibility that the virus – in its highly pathogenic form – has now adapted to at least some species of migratory waterfowl and is co-existing with these birds in evolutionary equilibrium, causing no apparent harm, and travelling with these birds along their migratory routes.”If further research verifies this hypothesis, re-introduction of the virus or spread to new geographical areas can be anticipated when migratory birds begin returning to their breeding areas.”Are migratory birds spreading the virus?The WHO stopped well short of assigning to migratory birds the major blame for the virus’s recent spread, a notion that has been controversial. David Halvorson, DVM, a veterinarian in avian health at the University of Minnesota in S. Paul, said today that H5N1 is probably being spread both by the movement of poultry and by the movement of wild birds, but no one is absolutely certain.”The fact is we don’t really know why it’s being found in so many places so suddenly,” he told CIDRAP News.Halvorson suggested that trains may play a role in the spread of H5N1, as they have in past outbreaks. In the United States in 1925, “People were shipping poultry to New York live bird markets. Then dirty, contaminated crates were being shipped back.” This contributed to the spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak.”I think that the trans-Asian railway system fits the temporal and spatial pattern of virus distribution starting in July of last summer,” Halvorson commented. “For us in the Western Hemisphere, it would be extremely unusual for water birds to be migrating thousands of miles in July and August, a time when they are ordinarily taking care of their young.”Even today it is normal to ship chickens by rail in many places. Birds also can be found on buses and trucks under circumstances that could contribute to spreading the virus, Halvorson said.Most of the bird cases found in Western Europe this month have been in wild swans, which has raised puzzling questions. Halvorson listed some in an e-mail message: “Are swans an indicator species? In other words are they detecting (and dying from) AI [avian influenza] in their environment? Or are they spreading it around? Are they flying north or south? Are they both an indicator species and also spreading it around?”Jean Hars, a French veterinary epidemiologist quoted in an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday, said the mute swan, the hardest-hit species in western Europe, is not migratory.Hars said some whooper swans, a migratory species, on a German island in the Baltic Sea were infected, but how they were exposed is a mystery because they stay in far northerly regions where no H5N1 outbreaks have been reported.Human cases still rareIn reporting on the evolution of the virus, the WHO said the recent changes have not had any noticeable effect on the disease in humans. “Human infections remain a rare event,” the agency said. “The virus does not spread easily from birds to humans or readily from person to person.As reported here yesterday, the agency said its investigation of human cases in Turkey has yielded no evidence that viral mutations have changed the epidemiology of the disease in humans.In today’s statement, the WHO expressed concern about the virus becoming established in backyard flocks, a known risk factor human for H5N1 infections.Halvorson echoed the concern.”Clearly, it’s in wild birds, whether they’re picking it up from poultry or spreading it themselves,” he said. “We have to separate our poultry from wild birds. It’s essential. Some places, it’s going to be easy. In some places it will be virtually impossible.”See also:Feb 21 WHO statement on situation in Indiahttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_21/en/index.htmlFeb 21 WHO statement on the spread of avian flu to new countrieshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_21b/en/index.htmlFeb 20 WHO statement on mutations in H5N1 virushttp://www.who.int/csr/2006_02_20/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Noble Corp. swings to loss as revenues tumble

first_imgDrillship Noble Bob Douglas; Image: GustoMSCOffshore driller Noble Corporation fell to a loss for the second quarter of the year dragged down by a significant reduction in revenues caused by a decline in fleet operating days and slashed dayrates in floating rig fleet. The driller reported a net loss attributable to the company for the second quarter 2017 of $93 million on revenues of $278 million.The results include net charges of approximately $16 million, relating to the emergence from bankruptcy of Paragon Offshore, with approximately $1 million of such amount being accounted for as part of discontinued operations. Excluding the impact of the remaining amount, approximately $14 million, the net loss attributable to Noble Corporation from continuing operations for the period would have been $79 million.For the second quarter of 2016, the company reported net income of $323 million on revenues of $895 million.Second quarter 2016 results included net favorable items totaling $322 million, resulting primarily from a contract cancellation agreement involving two of the company’s drillships. Excluding these items, the driller’s profit would have been $1 million on revenues of $502 million.Noble’s contract drilling services revenues for the second quarter of 2017 totaled $272 million compared to $355 million in the preceding quarter of the year, and compared to $876.7 million in the prior-year second quarter.A decline in fleet operating days and downward dayrate adjustments, primarily in the company’s floating rig fleet, were largely responsible for the reduction in revenues. Also, revenues in the second quarter were reduced by $6 million due to the write-off of a derivative instrument relating to contingent payments associated with the contract cancellation settlement reached in May 2016 with Freeport-McMoRan. The opportunity to collect these contingent payments expired on June 30, 2017.The decline in operating days reduced fleet utilization to 65 percent in the second quarter compared to 69 percent in the preceding quarter of the year, while unfavorable dayrate adjustments reduced average daily revenues to $164,500 from $202,700 over the same period of comparison.Contract drilling services costs for the second quarter totaled $162 million, inclusive of the $14 million charge relating to Paragon Offshore.Capital expenditures for the second quarter of 2017 were $30 million. Given the pace of capital expenditures through June 30, 2017, the company has lowered its expected total capital expenditures for the year to $105 million, down from a previous estimate of $115 million.At the end of the quarter, the company reported total liquidity of $3 billion, comprised of cash and equivalents of $603 million, up from $520 million at March 31, 2017, and a revolving credit facility with total capacity of $2.445 billion. The credit facility, which matures in January of 2020, remains undrawn. Utilization of the company’s floating rig fleet, comprised of eight drillships and six semi-submersibles, was 37 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to 46 percent in the preceding quarter. The decline in utilization was due to fewer operating days in the drillship fleet. Average utilization for drillships dropped to 52% in the second quarter of this year from 86% in the prior-year quarter.The company’s jack-up fleet, comprised of 14 units, recorded utilization of 93 percent in the second quarter of 2017, unchanged from the preceding quarter of the year and increased from the prior-year quarter and utilization of 83%.At present, 13 of the company’s 14 jack-ups are contracted, including seven units with contracts extending into late-2018 and beyond.At the end of the quarter, the company’s contract backlog totaled $3.2 billion with an estimated $1.9 billion derived from the floating rig fleet and $1.3 billion from the jack-up rig fleet. In closing, David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble Corporation, focused on signs of industry improvement: “Despite the recent crude oil price volatility, our customers continue to evaluate offshore rig needs covering the remainder of 2017 and 2018. The number of jack-up rigs under contract has risen steadily since the fourth quarter of 2016, while several contract awards in recent weeks provide evidence of intermediate-term support for the industry’s floating rig capacity.“Some of the recent floating contract awards and others still pending are addressing new, emerging offshore opportunities, such as the Black Sea, Guyana, Suriname, Mexico and Egypt, driven in many cases by the confirmation of excellent hydrocarbon potential. We still expect a meaningful decline in the industry’s total supply of jack-up and floating rigs given the age, condition and state of preservation of much of the global fleet. While our industry requires more time to recover, we continue to show steady progress.” Decline in drillship fleet use ‘Emerging offshore opportunities’last_img read more

Okra Energy names Flesan EPC contractor for its small-scale LNG plant

first_imgImage courtesy of Okra EnergyOkra Energy has awarded the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a small-scale natural gas liquefaction (ssLNG) facility in Peru to Flesan.Okra Energy, through its Peruvian unit Lantera Energy, is constructing what is says to be the first small-scale LNG facility in Piura, northern Peru.The LNG plant is 95 percent complete, and is due to be operational in July., Okra Energy said in its statement.The entirety of the new facility’s supply of LNG has already been pre-sold to an international gas distributor. Three additional Okra Energy ssLNG facilities are also currently under contract for delivery in Peru.The New York-based Okra Energy, earlier awarded the power generation contract for the facility to Flesan Energía.last_img read more

Golf: Johnson dusts himself down to defend Saudi title

first_imgBrooks Koepka was deeply moved by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant at the weekendRead Also: Ex-Eagles star takes first step in new golf career “Just practiced all week. I had three months off so there was no point in having a holiday or a vacation,” said the four-time major champion. “It was more of a work thing. Just got the game ready. Felt good in Abu Dhabi. Felt good in Dubai. And I am feeling good here. “It’s just a matter of going out and executing. I played just fine and hit some great shots in Abu Dhabi. Just didn’t score and that’s my own fault. “Just coming here to try to figure it out and put some scores together and try to eliminate some mistakes.” The $3.5 million tournament starts Thursday. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Dustin Johnson is hoping to kickstart a big year by defending his title at the Saudi International despite only playing in two events since the 2019 Tour Championship last August. The former world number one American underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the first week of September and played only one tournament after that in 2019 when he was part of the US Presidents Cup team at Royal Melbourne. Dustin Johnson is looking to defend his Saudi International title The 35-year-old started his 2020 season in Hawaii at the Tournament of Champions and was tied seventh. Johnson has slipped to No.5 in the world ranking and takes on a strong field that includes world No.1 Brooks Koepka, 12th-ranked Patrick Reed, the reigning British Open champion Shane Lowry and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson at the Royal Greens Golf Club outside Jeddah. Johnson said he was looking to step up from his performances in 2019. “Last season was okay,” he said. “Definitely didn’t play quite as well as I would have liked to, especially towards the end of the year. “This year, I’m looking forward to having a big year. I feel like the game is in pretty good form. “Obviously, I haven’t played much since Atlanta but I had surgery in the off-season so I’m just kind of getting back into it. “Everything feels really good, and I’m excited about this year. Johnson won the inaugural event last year with a two-stroke victory over the Chinese Li Haotong and is keen to repeat the victory. “Any time you’ve won somewhere, you’re looking at defending it but every event that I go to, whether I’ve won there or not, I’m always trying to win it. “Just because you won at a golf course, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win again. You’re going to have to work for it. “It’s more like a process. Like I want to get myself in contention. I just want to give myself a chance to win on Sunday.” – ‘My own fault’ – Koepka, who is also making a comeback from stem cell treatment in his left knee that kept him away from competitions for more than three months, was impressed with the way the golf course had matured in a year since the inaugural edition. Following his appearance in the Abu Dhabi Championship, where he finished tied 34th at eight-under par, Koepka spent the last week in Dubai practicing before his trip to Saudi. Loading… Promoted Content7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black Holes10 Hyper-Realistic 3D Street Art By OdeithBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?6 Best Natural History Museums In The WorldA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayThe Biggest Cities In The World So FarCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks12 Flicks That Almost Ended Their Stars’ Careerslast_img read more

Jean Leising recognizes ‘National Child Abuse Prevention month’

first_imgOldenburg, In. — Child abuse and neglect, which can result in physical and emotional harm and even death, are serious issues that occur far too often in the United States and Indiana.For example, 77 children died from abuse and neglect in Indiana between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services’(DCS) most recent Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities.As Indiana residents, it is our job to protect the children living in our communities and ensure they are unharmed.To help bring attention to this issue, we, along with the rest of the United States, recognize April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which increases awareness, teaches warning signs and provides solutions to prevent child abuse.In Indiana, the DCS also provides a number of prevention programs to help combat the issue.Healthy Families Indiana is a voluntary home visitation program designed to promote healthy families and children through a variety of services, including child development, access to health care and parent education. Community Partners for Child Safety is a statewide prevention program designed to strengthen the family unit and build support services. It is a voluntary, free and home-based service to connect families with resources. Youth Service Bureaus and Safe Place provide a variety of programs aimed at preventing delinquent behavior in teenagers.While these programs are in place, you can also play a part in preventing child abuse in our state by calling the DCS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556 if you suspect a child is a victim of abuse or neglect.Click here for more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month.last_img read more

Three first time winners at I-35 Speedway

first_imgBy Greg GrabianowskiMASON CITY, Iowa (Aug. 25) – In the last night of dirt track racing at I-35 Speedway before next week’s season championships, three different drivers earned their first feature victories of 2013 at the half-mile oval.Jesse Brown outlasted John Campbell and Heath Tulp to grab his first-ever IMCA Sunoco Stock Car win. Brown took full advantage of his outside front row starting position. This is Brown’s se­cond season in the division and he had not placed in the top four previously at I-35 this season. Campbell finished second with Tulp placing third; Chris Adams took fourth and point-leader Travis Shipman rounded out the top five. Matt White survived a wild last lap, four-car battle to earn his first victory of the year in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.Chanse Hollatz and White were door-to-door heading into the final lap when Weston Koop and Cory Gansen join the fight for the lead in turn number three. White and Hollatz touched a bit on the curve but White held his line and got good bite coming out of turn number four to earn the win. Hollatz was the runner-up with Koop taking third; Gansen was fourth and Marvin Enabnit placed fifth. The other first-time local winner was Mitch Balik in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts, in only his se­cond night at I-35 track. Ryan Bryant was second with Michael Riecks taking third. Austin Schrage was the hard charger in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and won his se­cond feature of the season at the oval. He piloted his No. 14X rig from the inside of row four to take the checkers.Ryan Hiscocks was the runner-up followed by Dan Tenold, Nate Chodur and Coby Bangusser.Point leader Levi Nielsen won his sixth IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature of the sea­son, chased across the stripe by J.J. Wise and Shane Monson.last_img read more

Hughes focused on Northern Ireland

first_img “This was a chance to play football and it is a new experience – probably my only chance to play in South America. “I will have a few weeks’ holiday after this and then look at my options.” Hughes, who is in position to become the first Northern Ireland outfield player to reach a century of caps, is making his first-ever appearance on a summer tour in South America. He had previously skipped the end-of-season jaunts and his presence on the current one shows just how far his mindset has changed since he announced his international retirement in 2011. Manager Michael O’Neill made it a priority to reverse that decision when he took over from Nigel Worthington and he has been rewarded for his approach by Hughes’ complete commitment. “You look at this trip and it’s very easy to think we were just going out for the benefit of Uruguay and Chile – that they need a British-style team to play against to get used to the World Cup and we are just cannon fodder – but how it’s been prepared and how we travelled it has been one of the best trips I’ve ever been on,” he said. “This the furthest away I’ve ever been with Northern Ireland and a lot of that is down to the manager. “When I first spoke to him about coming back to international football it was this sort of thing that convinced me to come back. “He does care and he knows the finer details that really matter and make the difference.” The 34-year-old, who is set to win his 90th international cap against Chile on Wednesday night, ended last term as an unused substitute in Rangers’ dramatic play-off final success against Derby. That marked the end of a short-term deal he had signed in January when long-time employers Fulham deemed him surplus to requirements. Press Association Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is without a contract for the first time in his career as he waits to see if he will be part of QPR’s Barclays Premier League return. Now, if QPR boss Harry Redknapp opts to offer the experienced centre-half new terms, Hughes could find himself swapping places with his former team-mates as they prepare for life in the Championship. At present the former Newcastle and Aston Villa man, who had played in the top tier for his entire career prior to his spell at Loftus Road, is in the unfamiliar position of waiting on developments. “This is the first time I’ve been at the end of my contract. I’ve always moved to another club with time left on my contract or had a new contract in place,” said Hughes, who lined up in Northern Ireland’s narrow 1-0 loss to Uruguay last week. “It’s all new to me and that is why I’m trying not to get too excited or worried about it. “I will be speaking to my agent and I will find out more when I get home to find out what’s going on. “The play-offs took my mind off it and so are these games for Northern Ireland so that is good. “The big thing was to get to the end of the season and see what happened. It was only a week or so ago but it seems a long time. “From there I’ve come on this trip and the focus was to go and enjoy this and the two games after the season ended because I haven’t played as much as I would have hoped in recent weeks. last_img read more