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Officials Give Friday COVID-19 Update

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Why aren’t people in Western New York being tested under the same protocols as NYC? Photo: CDCJAMESTOWN – Thirty-four people are now under a ‘precautionary quarantine’ in Chautauqua County, according to data released by officials Friday afternoon.So far, there remains no confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in the county.Officials recommend that all county physicians and hospitals notify the Chautauqua County Health Department when a COVID-19 test is performed, but cannot assure that they have record of every test that has been performed in the county.“What we can be assured of, through the NYS electronic reporting system, is the number of confirmed tests – 0 in Chautauqua County,” officials said. The Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response team continues to meet daily to evaluate and respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.This team is made up of local Public Health and Emergency Response professionals. Testing supplies are in very limited supply and only those hospitalized or very sick should be tested at this time.It is not being recommended that individuals without symptoms of respiratory illness or those with mild or moderate symptoms be tested for COVID-19 at this time; testing will not change treatment recommendations. If you feel sick, stay home. Call your health care provider for advice.Officials stress the importance of following the precautionary guidelines and social gathering regulations:Wash your hands (for 20 seconds) often throughout the dayCover your cough and sneezesAvoid close contact with others (6 feet)Stay homeIf you have COVID-19 symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath – stay home.  You can manage your respiratory symptoms at home.Monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.  They will instruct you.  DO NOT call 911 or visit the ER unless you have a life-threatening emergency.Get rest and stay hydrated.Cover your cough and sneezes.Wash your hands often.Stay away from other people in your home.Avoid sharing personal items like dishes, towels, and bedding.Clean all surfaces that are touched often.If you need answers to specific COVID-19 questions, check this list and find the agency who can best answer your questions:Chautauqua County Public Health COVID-19 Hotline 866-604-6789New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline 888-364-3065 (24/7)Adult Protective Services/CASA 716-753-4447Business Questions – call CCIDA Offices at 716-661-8900Child Abuse Registry 1-800-342-3720 (24/7)Child Care Assistance 716-753-4192Child Support  716-753-4555 or email cccseu@co.chautauqua.ny.usHEAP (Heat assistance) call  716-753-4385Meals Assistance contact NY Connects at 716-753-4582, 716-363-4582 or 716-661-7582Mental Health Crisis Hotline 800-724-0461 (24/7)Office for the Aging Services  Call NY Connects 716-753-4582Temporary Assistance/SNAP 716-661-8200Need something else?  Contact “211” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Dial 2-1-1 or 888-696-9211 or visit their website at www.211wny.orgJamestown Public Schools also released an update Friday:School Meals“Grab and Go” meals will continue to be available at all three middle schools & Jamestown High School Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Almost 1,000 meals served today to JPS students and families.This week, we have provided 3,770 meals to our students and our families.ChildcareOur Jamestown community childcare program still has spaces available. Priority will be given to parents who work in healthcare, public safety, and first responders. If you have a child age 3 to 11 and are in need of childcare, please reach out to childcare@jpsny.org and or call 716-203-1539 for information.Learning at HomeThe district would love to see photographs and videos of children learning at home. Please send your photos/videos to photos@jpnsy.org to possibly be featured on JPS social media.If a high school student needs a Chromebook or iPad, please reach out to the JHS main office at 483-3470 to ask about our device loan program. If a student needs technical support for their device, please send an email to techsupport@jpsny.org.NYS has canceled all 2019-20 state assessments, including: ELA, Grades 3-8, Math, Grades 3-8, Science, Grades 4 & 8, NYSESLAT and NYSAA. We do not yet know whether Regents exams will be canceled.Officials have also learned that AP exams will be offered online. More detailed information will be forthcoming on our website.More resources are consistently being added to the district’s learning at home website (www.jpsny.org/learningathome).JPS Superintendent Dr. Bret Apthorpe will hold a Facebook Live Q & A event on JPS Facebook page @JamestownPublicSchools for parents tomorrow (Saturday, March 21) at 9 a.m.Check www.jpsny.org for the latest updates.last_img read more

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Sunny Sunday, Unsettled For Start Of New Work Week

first_imgJAMESTOWN – High pressure will provide for mainly dry and cool weather for Sunday afternoon. A front will stall over the eastern Great Lakes tonight through Tuesday night, which will provide for unsettled weather. For this afternoon, partly cloudy with highs in the lower-50’s.Tonight, as a front approaches it will become cloudy with rain showers likely. Lows in the upper-30’s. Both Monday and Tuesday will remain unsettled as a series of low pressure systems move by. Both days will be mostly cloudy with rain showers likely. Highs both days will ride in the upper-40’s to lower-50’s.It maybe be cold enough for a few wet snow flakes over night Monday into Tuesday morning.High pressure builds in Wednesday to allow for dryer weather for mid-week with highs only in the low to mid-50’s.Looking ahead to Halloween, as of now it looks to be dry, yet cool with highs in the mid-50’s. Although this may change as time gets closer.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Tony Winners LaChanze, Alice Ripley & More Headline Living for Today Benefit Concert

first_img The event will also feature The Skivvies (Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley), DeQuina Moore, Eric Anderson (who is set to appear in the upcoming Rocky), Tituss Burgess, Tony Yazbeck, Hannah Elless, Autumn Hulbert along with more special guests to help defy the frozen weather outside! LaChanze Past performers who have offered their talents to Living for Today include Emmy winner Candice Bergen, Tony winner Stephen Spinella, Tony nominee Kerry Butler, Paige Davis, Kate Shindle, Jim Walton, Aaron Lazar, Max Von Essen and Stephanie D’Abruzzo. View Comments We never get tired of seeing a bunch of divas singing their hearts out for a good cause! Tony winner LaChanze (who is readying to return to Broadway in If/Then), Tony winner Alice Ripley, Julia Murney, Tony nominee Kerry Butler and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams will perform in Living for Today, the sixth annual benefit for Gilana’s Fund. The concert, which provides funding for educational programming promoting acceptance and understanding of our communities, each other and ourselves, will take place on January 19 at Joe’s Pub. Star Files Click below to see David Alpert, the producer and director of Living for Today (and Gilana’s brother), talk about the history of the benefit concert and show some exciting footage from previous years!last_img read more

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The Threepenny Opera, Starring Michael Park & Laura Osnes, Extends

first_img Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s most popular collaboration, The Threepenny Opera is based on John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. Adapted by Marc Blitzstein, the show centers on the scoundrel Macheath and his criminal exploits in 19th century London. In the tuner, Macheath, or Mack the Knife as he is known, marries the impressionable and innocent Polly Peachum, much to the displeasure of her father and mother. Throughout his marriage and a series of arrests, he maintains a strong relationship with his mistress, Pirate Jenny. Related Shows Mackie’s sticking around! The Atlantic Theater Company has announced a one-week extension of their revival of The Threepenny Opera. The production, directed and choreographed by Martha Clarke, will now play through May 11 at the Linda Gross Theater. The show stars Emmy winner Michael Park, Tony nominee Laura Osnes and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham. View Comments Laura Osnes Star Filescenter_img The Threepenny Opera Michael Park Show Closed This production ended its run on May 11, 2014 Additional cast members include Sally Murphy, Lilli Cooper, Rick Holmes, Mary Beth Peil, John Kelly, Sophie Bortolussi, Jon David Casey, Timothy Dale, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Christina Spina and John Watkins. The musical began preview performances on March 12 and will celebrate its opening night on April 7.last_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Kathie Lee Gifford Goes Into The Woods & More

first_img Kathie Lee Gifford is Heading Into The Woods We’ll drink to this! Today Show co-host and wine connoisseur (!) Kathie Lee Gifford will voice the role of the Giant’s Wife in an upcoming D.C. area production of Into the Woods. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s classic is set for a limited engagement May 1 through June 1 for Nextstop Theatre at the Industrial Strength Theatre in Herndon, VA. Broadway Vets Including Cynthia Nixon Team Up With Mice and Men’s James Franco Tony winner Cynthia Nixon and Great White Way alums Ed Harris and Christian Slater have signed up for current Broadway headliner James Franco’s film adaptation of The Adderall Diaries. According to Showbiz 411, the Of Mice and Men star will appear in and co-write the project. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. How to “Let It Go” to Idina Menzel’s Vocals on the Dance Floor James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd “Let It Go” on Dancing With The Stars last night and achieved the first perfect score of the season. Check out their contemporary routine, set to the hit Frozen song, below. The pair certainly don’t hold it back anymore! View Commentscenter_img James Franco Star Fileslast_img read more

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Sara Bareilles’ Waitress to Play Broadway This Spring

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020 After its current run at the American Repertory Theater, Waitress is heading to Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre this season. Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, the show features a score by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson. Broadway previews will begin in March 2016, with opening night set for April. Exact dates will be announced later.Though no official casting is set for the Broadway engagement, the ART production stars Tony winner Jessie Mueller, along with Keala Settle, Jeanna de Waal, Eric Anderson, Joe Tippett and Drew Gehling. The production will close at the Cambridge venue on September 27.Based on the 2007 film by the late Adrienne Shelly, Waitress follows Jenna, a pregnant waitress in the south trapped in an abusive marriage and looking for a happy ending. She finds relief—and potentially that happy ending—by making creatively titled pies and forming a romance with an unlikely newcomer. Related Shows View Comments Star Files Waitress Sara Bareilleslast_img read more

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Peter Friedman & More Set for Her Requiem Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Peter Friedman and Mare Winningham will lead the world premiere of Greg Pierce’s Her Requiem off-Broadway. Directed by Kate Whoriskey, the previously announced production will play a limited engagement February 6 through March 20 at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater. Opening night is set for February 22.Joining Friedman (Twelve Angry Men) and Winningham (Casa Valentina) will be Keilly McQuail (Younger), Naian Gonzalez Norvind (New York stage debut), Robbie Collier Sublett (Other Desert Cities) and Joyce Van Patten (The People in the Picture).In Her Requiem, Caitlin (Norvind) takes her senior year off from high school to compose a full-scale requiem. Inspired by her dedication, her father, Dean (Friedman), becomes obsessed with requiems and the people who love them, while her mother, Allison (Winningham), becomes concerned about Caitlin’s isolation from everyone aside from her music teacher. As their once-cozy Vermont home becomes a nexus for lost souls, Dean and Allison must confront the fact that their daughter’s project is destroying their family.Her Requiem will have sets by Derek McLane, costumes by Jessica Pabst, lighting by Amith Chandrashaker and sound by Josh Schmidt.last_img read more

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Soggy Fields Soak Up Profits

first_img“We’re hoping farmers can get 250,000 to 280,000 acres planted this year,”said Dewey Lee, an extension agronomist withthe UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. “That’s just about two-thirds of last year’s 400,000 acre crop.”Not since the 1979 crop of only 210,000 acres have wheat farmers planted such a smallcrop. Although Georgia farmers never raise enough wheat to significantly affect the wholesaleprice of wheat and flour on international markets, a half crop will affect the farmers. “There will certainly be a loss of farm income,” Lee said.George Shumaker, a CAES economist,estimates Georgia wheat farmers will lose about $18 million in total income from thisshort crop. “If it’s not planted, they can’t harvest it,” he said. Shumaker based the loss estimate on how much farmers would earn if they had been ableto plant and harvest a full crop. That loss doesn’t include the loss of wages to farmworkers and extra help at millers, either.Wet weather from late September through December has farmers still trying to harvestcotton and soybean fields. Until they can get those crops out of the fields, wheat andother small grains can’t be planted.And even in harvested fields, Lee said the saturated, soggy soil won’t support theweight of planting equipment.”We’re at the point now, that I’m telling farmers that if they can’t get wheatplanted before the third week of December, to not even try to get in there,” Leesaid. After that point, the cost to grow and manage the crop well is greater than thepotential income, and farmers could actually lose money.He explains that in the seven to 14 days after the ideal planting window for wheat, theyield potential drops by 15 to 20 percent. From 15 to 21 days after the planting window,the potential yield drops by almost half.”That’s true no matter what variety you plant,” he said. With less than half of Georgia’s typical crop to buy and use next spring, flour millersacross the Southeast will have to buy wheat from other areas. Lee said Georgia farmersplant mostly soft, red winter wheat. This wheat is milled into flour used in soft bakedgoods like doughnuts, cookies and cakes. “A lot of Georgia’s wheat ends up on Georgia families’ tables,” said Lee.”But, this year, that won’t be the case.” The Georgia shortage will forcemillers to bring more wheat in from other areas, Lee said. He said the farmer’s andmiller’s problems will have little to no effect on the price of baked goods for consumers.But reduced acreage is just one problem wheat farmers face. Soggy fields make growingwheat and other small grains more difficult.”Continued wet weather will really tax farmers’ management,” Lee said.”They’ll have to carefully time nutrient applications and manage to increasetillers.” Rain can wash away pesticides, nitrogen or other nutrients, too. Wet soil also limits wheat growth. Soggy soil keeps oxygen away from roots, preventinggood root system development. Without good roots, the plant can’t absorb nutrients andproduce enough heads for high yields.”It’s already started out as a tough year for small grains producers inGeorgia,” Lee said. “All we can do now is hope the weather cooperates so thewheat that is planted can produce a good crop.” Unusually wet fall weather has Georgia wheat farmers planting their smallest crops inalmost 20 years, said a University of Georgia agronomist.last_img read more

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Troubleshooting

first_imgBy Bob WesterfieldUniversity of GeorgiaThe muggy heat makes working in the landscape less appealing thanit was in the spring. But insect, disease and other plantproblems need attending to.To keep your landscape looking its best, be a Sherlock Holmes inyour yard. Frequent visits to keep an eye on things is often allyou need to detect problems before they get too big.A trowel, a white index card and perhaps a hand pruner will helpyou with your landscape detective work.First, visit your annuals or herbaceous perennials. These plantsusually need the most immediate attention. Are they healthy,green and strong or spindly, yellow and weak? Perhaps they need alittle fertilizer. Annuals, in particular, benefit from light,frequent applications.Look closelyBe careful, though. Look closely. Yellowing of these plants canalso mean too much water, and recent rains have kept the soilfairly wet.Dig down a little to see how wet the soil is and how well it’sdraining. Heavy, wet soils can play havoc on many landscapeplants and may be hard to remedy without renovating the bed.Look at the blooms of these plants. Deadheading, or removingspent flowers, will help keep them blooming all summer. Check theblooms, too, for signs of insects or disease.Look carefully at the foliage on all plants. Are the leavesspotted or riddled with holes? Are they speckled, bronze-coloredor different from the way you remembered?Leaf spotsLeaf spots can be caused by insects or disease. Usually, if it’sdisease, a yellow or purple halo will be around the dark spot.You may need to use a fungicide. Sometimes, improving the aircirculation by lightly pruning will improve a plant’s health, too.Insect damage may appear as solid, blackish-brown spots, chewedareas or speckled leaves. Be sure to look at the undersides ofthe leaves. Many insects will feed and hide there.Properly identifying the insect is the key in selecting thecorrect control. Remember, there are far more beneficial insectsout there than bad guys. Beneficials do an outstanding job ofkeeping damaging insects at bay on their own.Buy a good insect-ID book and learn how to tell the good bugsfrom the bad. Treat plants only when pests are causing moredamage than you can live with.Hard to seeSome insects are so tiny they’re hard to see. This is where yourwhite index card can help. If you see speckled or off-coloredfoliage and suspect insects but can’t see any, shake the leavesbriskly over the index card. You may see tiny red specks calledspider mites.Spider mites can build up heavy infestations quickly ifconditions are right. To control these pests, use a productlabeled for mite control.Check azaleas for off-colored foliage, too. A common summerproblem is lace bugs, which feed on the undersides of the leavesof azaleas, cotoneasters and other plants. They have manygenerations of offspring, so keep a watch and control this oneall summer.Chewing damageChewing damage on leaves often indicates another type of insectdamage. This can be caused by many insects, including Japanesebeetles, leaf beetles, snails and slugs.Once you know which culprit is munching on your plants, selectthe appropriate control. Insects are usually easier to kill whenthey’re young than when they’re mature.The University of Georgia Extension Service office in your countycan help you figure out what caused your landscape problem andthe best control measure.County agents have special diagnostic tools and resources to helpthem solve almost any landscape problem. Be sure to describe thedamage accurately.Better yet, bring in a fresh sample. While you’re at the countyagent’s office, pick up a few of their many brochures on insectand disease control in the landscape.(Bob Westerfield is an extension consumer horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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‘Gardening’ tricks

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaShow host Walter Reeves examines a seed packet, compares rotarytillers, prepares a lawn for drought and deadheads rhododendronson “Gardening in Georgia” May 28 on Georgia Public Broadcasting.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by GPB and the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Itairs each Saturday at 12:30 and 7 p.m.Reeves will explore the wealth of helpful gardening informationon the back of a tiny seed packet. He shows how to understand therecommended hardiness zones, planting dates, days to maturity andother information.He demonstrates how to use self-propelled, front-tine and handytwo-cycle tillers. Then he describes how a few simple tools canhelp you measure the water your sprinkler applies. He tells howto mow your lawn at just the right height, too, and how tocalibrate your fertilizer spreader.Finally, Hank Bruno of Callaway Gardens shows Reeves how to twistthe faded blooms from the branch tips of rhododendrons. Thissimple trick can multiply your plants’ blooms next spring.last_img read more

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Flu Facts

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaAsian bird flu has never infected poultry in the United States. Ever vigilant, the U.S. poultry industry tests continuously to make sure the virus that causes Asian bird flu doesn’t get a foothold in commercial poultry flocks. There is no danger of contracting Asian bird flu from eating or handling chicken or turkey. Since Asian bird flu does not exist in U.S. poultry, there is virtually no chance of coming into contact with meat from infected birds.The U.S. has banned poultry imports from all countries where Asian bird flu has occurred. Proper cooking and food-handling practices also essentially eliminate any chance of food-related disease.Most experts don’t believe Asian bird flu is likely to become a serious human health issue. At present, the virus that causes Asian bird flu does not easily infect humans.In spite of all the media attention, a very small number of people (only about 100 mainly in Thailand and Vietnam) have contracted Asian bird flu. Almost all of those infected have had very close, direct contact with diseased birds.The chance of large numbers of people contracting Asian bird flu is very remote, because virus doesn’t spread easily from one person to another or from birds to people.There is concern that if the virus mutates in such a way that it begins to spread from human to human, many more people could become infected. However, public health professionals in affected countries are working diligently with support from the international community to control the virus and eliminate this potential threat.Great effort is being made to prevent Asian bird flu from being introduced into the United States. Extensive plans have been developed to minimize the chance that Asian bird flu might infect U.S. poultry and to quickly eliminate it in the unlikely case it does.Federal, state, university, public health, poultry industry trade groups and poultry companies have all worked together to develop a coordinated, rapid and comprehensive response.If Asian bird flu is detected, a wide area around the outbreak will be immediately quarantined, infected birds will be humanely destroyed and disposed of in an environmentally sound way to stop the chance of any further spread. The U.S. poultry industry has had successfully controlled similar virus-caused diseases and is prepared to contend with this threat.The modern methods of poultry production in the U.S. makes an Asian bird flu outbreak much less likely here. Most poultry in Asia are kept in people’s backyards or allowed to roam free. Wild birds carry the virus that causes the disease and spread it to these “outdoor” poultry.In the U.S., commercial poultry flocks are kept in environmentally controlled poultry houses where they are protected from contact with wild birds and other vectors that may cause disease.(This information provided by the University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science, the American Association of Avian Pathologists, the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation.)last_img read more

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Useful waste

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaTwo and a half pounds of litter – that’s about how much onechicken produces in its lifetime. A team of University of Georgiascientists is working to turn the poultry state’s waste litterinto a valuable alternative fuel product.That’s good news in Georgia, where chickens, specificallybroilers, rank No. 1 in the state’s agriculture, with aleaving-the-farm value of almost $4 billion. Poultry litter ismostly manure mixed with a bedding material such as wood shavings.Two and a half pounds of litter per broiler is 2.5 pounds ofby-product waiting to be converted into something usable, saidJimmy Palmer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Withfunding from an EPA grant, UGA researchers are searching for waysto add value to poultry waste.“This will help us collectively deal with environmental issues ofgrowing agriculture,” said Palmer, an EPA regional administrator.“A waste is a terrible thing to mind,” he said, twisting a commonphrase. “We’re looking for better ways to deal with waste.”Through a process called fractionation, the UGA researchers planto produce two types of materials from the poultry litter,separating the fine and coarse parts, said Mark Risse, a UGACooperative Extension engineer and member of the research team.The scientists form the fine, nutrient-rich material into pelletsfor fertilizer. Because the processed fertilizer pellets wouldallow a slower release of nutrients into the soil, pollution frompathogens and nutrients in the poultry litter would be reduced.“Most poultry litter is currently being directly land-applied asfertilizer,” said K.C. Das, coordinator of the UGA Biorefinery.“It makes sense to a point. But in north Georgia, there’s notenough land to spread the litter. Through this process, we’reproducing a better energy product as well as a better fertilizer.”The research team puts the coarse, energy-rich poultry littermaterial through an intense heating process called pyrolysis tocreate char and bio-oil. The char can be used anywhere charcoalis used. Bio-oil can be refined further and used as diesel-likefuel.UGA engineers say developing a cheap source of energy frompoultry litter would provide a cleaner source of energy, helpingthe state grow in an economically and environmentally sustainableway. They estimate that in the United States, using poultrylitter as fuel could save 283 million gallons of fossil fuel.“Two or three companies are looking at Georgia right now,” Rissesaid. “They’re looking at pelleting litter for fertilizer.There’s a very real opportunity for research that can be used not10 years from now, but now.”“A lot more is said than usually done, and we’re about to do it,”Palmer said of the project.Besides Risse and Das, the UGA research team includes CooperativeExtension engineer John Worley, professor Sid Thompson andgraduate student Kaushlendra Singh.The project builds on work Thompson did 15 years ago and had toshelve due to a lack of application at the time. Now, with thedemand for alternative fuels increasing, his halted research cancontinue.The project team is in the process of showing they can break uppoultry litter into two parts and use both. The researchers willalso have to determine whether the processes should be done atcentralized locations across the state or at individual farms.“Poultry litter represents two times the energy consumption on afarm,” Das said. “You have everything you need to produce energyon the farm already.”last_img read more

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School bully

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaEveryone will be bullied at some point in life, and it will most likely happen at school. If your child is being bullied, you can do some things to help stop it.Bullying can come in many forms. It can include physical or emotional abuse, damage to a child’s property, spreading malicious rumors or forcing a child to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, says Sharon Gibson, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension family and consumer science educator.A consistently bullied student can have emotional problems and perform poorly in school. And if the bullying is physical, it can take its toll on the student’s body.Don’t ignore the problem. And don’t tell your child to ignore the bully.”When a child is bullied, he or she may feel angry, helpless or deserted,” Gibson said. “If that child tells a teacher or parent about the bullying, he or she needs to know it’s not tattling and that speaking about it was the right thing.”Calm downParents can become angry when they first learn their child is being bullied. “Parents should stay calm and first find out if their child is in any immediate physical danger,” she said.The most important thing to do is find a way to stop the bullying. Ask for a meeting with the principal of your child’s school. The principal can then determine if and when to bring the child’s teacher or teachers into the conversation.”Again, parents should stay calm. If they’re not, this could set up a defensive action by school officials,” she said. “Parents should be proactive but not demanding before they learn more about the situation at school.”Teachers and principals are trained to deal with issues like bullying, she said. So voice your concerns, but listen, too.Most schools have an action plan to deal with bully situations. If the school doesn’t, offer to help develop a plan.The child doing the bullying should be given a chance to reform.The child who is being bullied should have an adult contact at school to tell if the bullying doesn’t stop. This person could be the teacher or a paraprofessional.Help teacher helpA lot going is on in the average classroom, Gibson said. Teachers or paraprofessionals can have their hands full all day. It can be tough to concentrate on one child.Gibson recommends setting up a code word for the bullied child to use when he or she feels uncomfortable or in danger due to bullying. This will inform the adult without the child having to raise a hand or bring much attention.The adult can then investigate or even witness the bullying.Follow up with the school to make sure steps are in place to keep your child and all children from being bullied. You can also: At home, Gibson said, encourage good social skills and behavior. Help your child find his or her talents, and praise accomplishments.”A confident, assertive child is less likely to be the target of a bully,” she said.(Brad Haire is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Make sure the school has good monitoring.Keep records of bullying episodes and of any communication with the school.Work with other parents in the neighborhood to make sure children are supervised and feel safe.last_img read more

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West Nile numbers down

first_imgBy Sharon DowdyUniversity of GeorgiaTo date, two cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Georgia this year: one in Floyd County and one in Fulton County. Dry weather now provides perfect conditions for the mosquitoes that carry it, says a University of Georgia expert.WNV is carried by the southern house mosquito. It likes to grow in storm drains and thrives in polluted water, said Elmer Gray, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans.Many more cases last yearLast year, 55 cases of WNV were confirmed in Georgia.People tend to think about mosquitoes in May, but Gray says the peak period for WNV transmission in Georgia is August through September. “The cool nights may slow down their development, but we aren’t out of the woods yet,” said Gray. “We’ve gotten through the summer. It’s officially fall, but don’t let your guard down yet.”Melanie Pawlish, a UGA graduate student working with Gray, recently found high populations of the southern house mosquito in urban creeks in the Atlanta metro area. Perfect mosquito habitatThe state is drying out from the tropical storm rainfall, but water is still standing in storm drains and creek-side pools, Gray said. Dry conditions allow standing water in these systems to putrefy and become nutrient rich. These conditions are ideal for the southern house mosquito. “Heavy rainfall is needed to flush out the storm drains” and wash away the mosquito larvae, Gray said. But rain would fill buckets, tires or other things that hold rainwater, too, or places where the Asian tiger mosquito likes to grow. Storing rainwater to irrigate outdoor plants is water wise, but it creates a perfect backyard habitat for this mosquito, he said.Empty water-catchersGray calls Asian tiger mosquitoes “nuisance” mosquitoes. They don’t typically carry WNV, but they show up in backyards and at picnics or other social gatherings.“I’ve found that tires are dry now and that’s indicative of the conditions here,” he said. Both the southern house and Asian mosquito are found throughout the state. “If you live on the coast or your property backs up to a swamp, you could have one of several other species,” he said.If he had a choice, Gray would choose to see heavy rainfall and high populations of Asian tiger mosquitoes.”I’ll take a few bites over a case of encephalitis any day,” he said. “Mosquito-vectored diseases can be a really serious health problem for you and your family.”No matter which species of mosquito you encounter, Gray recommends wearing light-colored, loose clothing and using insect repellant according to the manufacturer’s label. Make sure window and door screens fit properly and don’t have holes or tears. As night time temperatures cool, screening is the first line of defense to prevent mosquito home invasions.last_img read more

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Pest management guide

first_imgThe 2012 Georgia Pest Management Handbook is now available. The thirty-third Commercial Edition, published by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, provides more than 800 pages of current information on selection, application and safe use of pest control chemicals around farms, homes, urban areas, recreational areas and other environments where pests may occur. Special attention is given to cultural, biological, physical and other types of control for insects, diseases and weeds in agronomic crops such as grains, cotton and tobacco as well as for commercial operations specializing in fruits, vegetables and ornamental horticulture production. Recommendations are also given for managing pests around livestock and aquatic environments.A companion homeowner edition contains more than 100 pages of insect, weed and disease control recommendations for private homes, lawns, orchards and pets, including an expanded section with organic recommendations.Printed commercial handbooks are available for $30. Homeowner handbooks cost $15. Both can be ordered from the UGA CAES Office of Communications and Technology Services at www.caes.uga.edu/publications/for_sale.cfm. Individual sections of both the commercial and homeowner editions are also available for download as PDFs from www.ent.uga.edu/pmh/last_img read more

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Plant Protection

first_imgTo help protect landscape plants from Georgia’s cold temperatures, University of Georgia Extension experts recommend using plastic, straw and, strangely enough, water. Cover with sheets or plasticCovering tender outdoor plants during the winter is not always effective or practical. Covering can help, but only if done right. Improper covering can be worse than no covering at all. Covers that extend to the ground and do not contact plant foliage can lessen cold injury by reducing radiant heat loss from the plant and the ground. Foliage that touches the cover is often injured because of heat transfer from the foliage to the colder cover. Examples of coverings include cloth sheets, black plastic and quilts. Remove plastic covers during the day or provide ventilation for trapped heat, as this can damage the plants you worked so hard to save. A light bulb placed under a cover is a simple way to provide extra heat to ornamental plants. Cover with wheat or pine strawWheat straw or pine straw can be scattered loosely over vegetable crops to help protect them. It can probably be left in place during cloudy cold days, but remove it if the next day gets hot. Newspapers and paper towels can also be used to cover plant rows. Sawdust can be applied to cover seedlings, but will probably need to be removed the next day with a leaf blower. Using water to insulate plants Watering landscape plants before freezing temperatures arrive can help protect plants. Well-watered soil absorbs more heat during the day than dry soil and will reradiate heat at night. This practice can create a warmer micro climate in your planting beds, raising the night time temps near plants by as much as two degrees. However, prolonged saturated soil conditions damage the root systems of most plants. Ornamental plants can be protected during a freeze by sprinkling the plants’s themselves with water. Sprinkling water for cold protection helps keep leaf surface temperatures near 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Latent heat is released when water changes from a liquid to a solid state. So begin sprinkling as freezing temperatures are reached and continue until thawing is completed. Water must be evenly distributed and supplied in ample quantity to maintain a film of liquid water on the foliage surfaces. Keep in mind this may mean leaving the water on all night. Alternatively, someone may have to stay awake to determine when to turn the water on and off. Place an accurate thermometer near the plant that is to be protected, not on the house six or more feet above the ground. Irrigating for several days may soak the soil resulting in damaged root systems and plant breakage due to ice build up. After the freezing temperatures have passed, check the plants’ water needs. The foliage may lose water vapor on a sunny day after a freeze while water in the soil may be unavailable to the plant because it remains frozen. Apply water to thaw the soil and provide available water for the plant. Recovering from the freezeDelay severely pruning plants until new growth appears to ensure live wood is not removed. Dead, unsightly leaves may be removed as soon as they turn brown after a freeze if a high level of maintenance is desired. New growth and young branch tips may be damaged while older wood is free of injury. Cold injured wood will be black or brown and can be found by examining the cambium layer (food conducting tissue) under the bark. Prune cold injured branches behind the point of discoloration. Visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/publications for more information about landscape care in Georgia.last_img read more

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