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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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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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Signs of Bullying

first_imgThe StopBullying.gov website defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” Bullying can include making threats, spreading rumors, physically or verbally attacking someone, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.Has your child ever been the victim of a bully? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 28 percent of students ages 12 to 18 report that they’re bullied at school. Every day, the fear of bullying causes 160,000 students miss school.To combat bullying, you have to know that it is happening. Watch for warning signs:Changes in personality: Children who were outgoing and confident might become more reserved and self-conscious.A desire to stay home from school: Many parents report this as the first warning sign that bullying was a problem for their children.A drop in grades: Victims of bullying tend to get lower grades. The adverse psychological effects of bullying make them unable to focus in class.Nightmares or trouble sleeping: Anxiety from bullying can cause children to have problems sleeping at night or to wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares.Frequent headaches and stomachaches: Several studies of elementary and middle school children showed that victims of bullying were more likely to have frequent health complaints including headaches, fatigue, colds, sore throats and stomachaches.Unexplained injuries and/or lost or damaged property: Unexplained bruises or cuts is a sign that your child is being physically bullied. Missing or damaged property can mean that a bully is targeting your child’s property instead of hitting or attacking them.Nervousness when talking about computer or cell phone use: Many kids who are being cyberbullied are afraid their parents will take away their cell phones and/or their internet privileges if they know what’s happening.Self-destructive behavior: If your child seems less interested in their well-being or begins participating in dangerous or harmful activities, address the situation immediately and get professional help if necessary. Twenty percent of high school students say that they have seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months.There are ways that you can help prevent your child from becoming a target for bullies and stop bullying that has already started. One of the most important things you can do is to talk to your kids about bullying. Share experiences that you or other family members have had with bullying when you were younger. If your child opens up to you, praise him or her for being brave enough to discuss it and offer your unconditional love and support.Document each incident when bullying occurs so that you can build a case against the bully. Be sure to talk to your child’s school to find out its policies on how staff and teachers can address the situation. Find out what the bully is after — if it is lunch money or technological gadgets — and neutralize the situation by encouraging your child to pack a lunch or go to school gadget-free.Tell your child to buddy up with one or more friends at all times. Two or more kids are less likely to be picked on than a child who is alone. Remind your child to use the buddy system when on the school bus, in the bathroom or anywhere bullies may lurk. Talk to your child about what to do if they’re bullied. The best defense may be to remain calm, ignore hurtful remarks, tell the bully to stop and walk away. Bullies thrive by hurting others. A child who is not easily upset has a better chance of staying off a bully’s radar.Do not fight the battle against bullying alone. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to the bully’s parents, usually in a neutral setting (like the school) where a school official (a counselor, teacher or principal) can mediate. If you choose to go this route, strive to remain as calm as possible when talking to the bully’s parents. Just present the facts and offer up any evidence you may have.For more resources to combat bullying, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a robust bullying information website at StopBullying.gov.last_img read more

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2019 Flavor of Georgia

first_imgSnack Foods:Bodacious Food Company, Mama Geraldine’s Pimento Cheese Straws, JasperHardy’s Peanuts Inc., Delicious Dill Pickle Party Peanuts, HawkinsvilleThe Religious Nuts Company, Cin-Amen, Atlanta Jams & Jellies:Elusive Jams LLC, Fig Bourbon Jam, WhiteFairywood Thicket Farm, Phenomenal Cosmic Strawberry Jam, FairburnSavy Confections, Black Cherry Pecan Jam, Fairburn Dairy Products:Pine Street Market, Pimento Cheese, Avondale EstatesSmith Family Dairy Farm, Silly Goat Cheese, Norman ParkSuga’s Enterprises LLC, Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese, Powder Springs Condiments & Salsas:Abby J’s Gourmet, Blackhawk Smokin’ Hot Pickled Okra, ClarkesvilleBuilt By Bees, Tupelo Balsamic Vinegar, AtlantaPine Street Market, Bacon Jam, Avondale Estates  Honey & Related Products:Built By Bees, Blueberry Whipped Honey, AtlantaClassic City Bee Company, Smoked Honey, AthensH. L. Franklin’s Healthy Honey, Creamed Honey with Chocolate, Statesboro Sauces & Seasonings:Bacon’s Heir, Pork Panko, ChambleeBeautiful Briny Sea, Gun Powder Finishing Salt, AtlantaKay’s Cookery, Habeeb’s Honey Braised Sauce, Lawrenceville Judges selected 33 products to compete in the final round of the University of Georgia’s 2019 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest set for March 19 in Atlanta.The contest is the state’s premier proving ground for small, upstart food companies as well as time-honored products. This year’s finalists represent all corners of the state and the best of Georgia’s diverse culinary heritage.The finalists passed the first round of judging and were selected from a field of 138 products in 11 categories.Finalists will bring their products to Atlanta for the final round of judging, which will be held in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Awareness Week celebration, set for March 18-22. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black has designated March 19 as Flavor of Georgia Day.“Once again, the level of innovation and talent represented in our contest has left us amazed and excited for things to come,” said Sharon P. Kane, contest coordinator and economist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ (CAES) Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.“Georgia is home to some of the most creative minds in the food business, and the Flavor of Georgia contest is our yearly reminder of how lucky we are to live in a state that values entrepreneurship and good food.”A food business development specialist, Kane and her center colleagues have organized the annual contest since 2007.Judges for the final round of the contest will include food brokers, grocery buyers and other food-industry experts. Judges evaluate entries by category based on their Georgia theme, commercial appeal, taste, innovation and market potential. Contestants will provide samples to judges and pitch their products in a “Shark Tank”-style presentation. Finalists will be named in each category, and a grand prize winner and People’s Choice Award winner will be named.This year’s finalists are listed by company, product name and city. All entries are from Georgia-based businesses.Barbecue Sauces:Aubs Company LLC, AubSauce, DecaturByne Blueberry Farms Inc., Blueberry Barbecue Sauce, WaynesboroChinese Southern Belle, Wild Wild East Asian BBQ Teriyaki Pineapple, Smyrnacenter_img Miscellaneous:Georgia Grinders, Pecan-Peanut Butter, AtlantaHunter Cattle, Farm Boy’s Cane Syrup, BrookletOlive Orchards of Georgia, Olive Oil, Quitman Meats & Seafood:Epting Events, Beef Short Ribs, AthensJensen Reserve, Coppa Roast, LoganvillePouch Pies, Chicken, Butternut, Leek & Thyme Pie, Norcross Confections:A Cacao Affair, Macarons, MariettaFarmHouse PoundCakes LLC, Luscious Lemon, CorneliaPie Provisions, Georgia Blueberry Pie Filling, Kennesaw  Beverages:FreshKiss Tea, Hibiscus Kombucha, PalmettoMontane Sparkling Spring Water, Grapefruit Peach, AtlantaNectar Foods Two Inc., Nectar Ready To Blend Smoothies, Decatur The Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest is organized by the UGA CAES Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development with support from the Office of the Georgia Governor, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Grown, Gourmet Foods International, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, Nadine’s Classic Cuisine and Georgia CEO.More information about the contest is available at www.flavorofga.com and by following the contest on Twitter @FlavorofGA or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/flavorofga.last_img read more

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VBA Announces New President

first_imgPeter Crosby, chairman of the Vermont Bankers Association announced that Christopher D’Elia has been appointed to the position of president of the VBA. D’Elia replaces Timothy Hayward who left the VBA after 18 years of service to become Chief of Staff for Governor Jim Douglas.D’elia most recently served as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development. During his two year tenure as commissioner, he was responsible for overseeing the economic development efforts for the state of Vermont, facilitating a partnership of public and private organizations associated with economic development as well as acting as a liason between the business community and the Dean administration. Prior to his commissioner’s post, D’Elia was executive directorof the Vermont Economic Progress Council, of Workforce Education and Training at Vermont Technical College, and executive director of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.last_img read more

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Legislature, business scuffle over Yankee, health, housing

first_imgLegislature, business scuffle over Yankee, health, housingby Art EdelsteinA variety of issues emerged from the 2008 legislative session of particular interest to Vermont’s business community. The cost of workers’ compensation, energy and the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, health care, the declining quality of roads and bridges and the cross border passport issue are among several that came up in discussion with members of the Legislature and business leaders.Legislators must also pass some parts of the governor’s $214 million economic stymulus plan, which he announced April 19, 2008. (see www.vermontbiz.com for complete details of the plan)Workers’ compensation and its high cost in Vermont was an issue raised by Steve Adams, R-Hartland, the House minority leader. As of this writing Senate bill S345 has the best chance of passing both houses. Adams said the bill aims to reduce cost of workers’ compensation by addressing fraud, deductible policies, and calculation of the weekly wage. The bill House Republicans introduced, H831, said Adams, “won’t go anywhere.”According to Adams, S345 “won’t really reduce rates.” He said Vermont has the highest workers’ compensation rates in the nation, which “stymies economic development.” H831, he said, “would in fact lower rates but that bill won’t be taken up.”The Vermont Chamber of Commerce in its legislative update report, said it wants “greater cost savings from benefit realignment, which includes setting the minimum compensation rate at 15 percent of the average weekly wage (currently at 50 percent) and setting the maximum weekly compensation rate at 100 percent of the average weekly wage (currently at 150 percent); and offsetting wage replacement benefits for injured workmen who are not permanently disabled once they become eligible for certain governmental benefits.”Adams is not sure S345 will pass. According to him, “the bill doesn’t help but it doesn’t hurt.”Another issue of concern to House Republicans and the Vermont State Chamber of Commerce is the cost involved in the eventual decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.”I’m hearing a lot about S373 and the decommissioning fund,” said Adams. Entergy, the company that owns the plant, he explained, wants to spin off some of its other nuclear facilities, ones that are currently stand alones, into a new company called Newco (ultimately, the name would change to something less generic).Adams said this plan is “about economies of scale, they save money and rate payers would save money through economy of scale.” The thrust of S373, according to him, is that the Legislature would let Entergy “spin off plants into Newco.”Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier/Middlesex, serves on the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and has a very different view of the bill and this issue. He said Vermont Yankee had already submitted an application for relicensing on March 2. According to him, the fund set aside for decommissioning the plant needs to be assured to reach the estimated $700 million decommissioning cost.While the fund is currently at $440 million, Klein said, those who want more control over the funding of decommissioning do not think the current fund, and the money it earns, will be enough to meet expected expenses should the plant be relicensed for 20 more years beyond the current date of 2012 to the year 2032.Klein said that those who oppose the decommissioning bill “assume that decommissioning in 2032 will cost the same as in 2012.” He believes the cost will be much higher and the state has to assure that Entergy will be able to cover the costs, not Vermont ratepayers.Adams said the decommissioning fund is not a fund Vermont ratepayers should contribute to.”It’s a fund by federal law administered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It’s managed by Mellon Bank.”According to Adams, if the bill passes requiring Entergy to assure there will be enough money in the fund, “then Entergy will pass on to local rate payers the cost of raising the additional money for the decommissioning fund.”In Adams’ view, “If Vermont Yankee shuts downs in 2012 and there is the five-year cool down time, there will be enough money in the fund.” He did not address the 2032 date.Adams said there is a greater issue with S373.”It does something not done before, it has the Legislature interfere with a public docket item the Public Service Board is currently working on.””That alone,” warns Adams, “ought to cause us to stop working on this bill. This isn’t the Legislature’s area to work on.””The business community is very suspicious of the regulatory process here if the Legislature is going to interfere in the process,” said Adams. “When is a deal a deal? they are asking.”Duane Marsh at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce said his group’s position on energy and Yankee is that “all energy alternatives need to be part of future energy mix, including nuclear.””We want to see that it doesn’t become so difficult for Yankee’s renewal that they do not continue toward renewing their license in 2012.”The actions by the Legislature, in his view, will “make it difficult to comply and give the sense to Yankee that it is so difficult to stay here and that they decide not to.”In another issue of concern to the business community, Adams said, was the cross border passport issue which deals with the federal government’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. That legislation requires passports for all those crossing the US Canada/Mexico border. Business, he said, supports the creation of the enhanced drivers license rather than requiring everyone to have a passport. S358 addresses the issue, one he sees as a tourism initiative.”Vermont businesses,” he noted, “rely on tourism.”The bill passed the Senate and as of this writing was in the House Transportation Committee. The bill creates the enhanced drivers license.The issue of the declining quality of the state’s bridges and roads came up in discussions with Adams, Klein and Marsh.While the Douglas Administration has decided to put $3 million into Operation Smooth Ride, to fix potholes this year, there is a legislative push for the state to sell bonds to raise money for a more significant effort to improve the transportation infrastructure.Adams said the state had “done the best we can with the funds we have.”He attributes part of the problem to previous administrations, including the administration of Howard Dean.”It’s coming home to roost,” claims Adams, of the borrowing from the Transportation Fund in previous years.Adams said he favors bonding, which Douglas generally opposes.”We can’t afford to do what we have to do, it will cost a couple million to keep up.”He justified his position saying, “It will cost us less to pay for the bond today than to just purchase materials outright in the future. I’ve said interest rates will never be lower, we have a AAA bond rating.”Bonding beyond the $50 million accepted by Douglas, “will not happen this year,” said Adams.Klein said the Legislature “didn’t take from the Transportation Fund for unrelated activities.”According to him, the Douglas Administration’s transportation budget “had a deficit to begin with. They were making up the deficit by cutting across the Transportation Agency budget.”He sees Operation Smooth Road as a reaction to all the media interest in potholes. He called this program “operation road aspirin.”The House passed a requirement for looking into bonding which the governor doesn’t like, said Klein. According to him, “This governor is going to hold fast to not increasing taxes and he is betting the infrastructure while he is in power, but we all know the infrastructure will fall apart sometime.”Marsh said there has been too much diversion of funds from the transportation trust fund over the years. He said the figure was “close to $500 million in the past 20 years.”His answer to the problem was “to find ways to look at current spending levels to see what can be done from current levels to overcome the situation created.”The Chamber opposed a gas tax increase in the previous session.”Our policy is to stop diversions, and see what we can do,” said Marsh. “We want to look carefully at bonding, an alternative that needs to be considered.”Health care is an important issue for business this legislative session.Andrea Cohen, the Public Policy Coordinator with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, said her organization wants the Legislature to begin exploring public financing for health care as “a more equitable system than we currently have.”VBSR members gripe about “the great expense members incur to insure families.”According to Cohen, under Catamount Health, competitors who don’t provide insurance pay $1 a day per worker to that program. As a result some VBSR employers spend $8,000 to $110,000 a year to insure workers and they do not see a level playing field “when our businesses spend so much money and the cost increases by 10 percent a year.”According to Cohen, “we have an equity issue, our employers pay so much and others pay $1 a day.”She gave the example of a construction company paying for health care at bidding time is unable to compete with a company paying $1 a day under Catamount Health rules.She sees premiums increasing yearly, while “the quality of insurance and benefits they can provide is decreasing and includes higher deductibles. We have a system relying on employer-sponsored insurance and it is crumbling,” notes Cohen.VBSR “wants to separate insurance from employment. We want to decouple health care. We have goals like public financing to pay for this.”The Vermont Chamber of Commerce supported a no vote on H887, which, according to Marsh, would shift more cost onto private sector premiums, while enhancing the access and thus cost of Catamount Health. He said “the bill does contain some good provisions, but amendments to eliminate the problems failed on the House floor.”The Chamber doesn’t like new mandates placed on insurance policies. An example is post-divorce coverage where a divorced person has the right to stay on their ex spouse’s policy with any extra cost paid by two parties. “It still makes a business a partner in a divorce settlement,” argues Marsh.The provision for coverage for adult children up to age 23 is unacceptable to the Chamber. Marsh said the cost to private insurance payers would be $16 million to $32 million a year because these health insurance costs are being born by businesses that pay a portion of the policy. The current coverage provisions end at age 19.Marsh said upping the coverage age “sends a wrong message to a child not attending college who should be seeking employment. If coverage is not available they are eligible for Catamount Health, a subsidized policy. By staying on a family policy the Catamount product isn’t available to them.”The Chamber wants to see elimination of the 75 percent rule where currently an insurance carrier doesn’t have to sell to a business unless 75 percent of employees sign up.Marsh said the new Catamount provisions would eliminate that completely, which will lead to “adverse selection. Which means business can have multiple carriers within their company.” The Chamber is concerned about the ramifications to insurance rates.”You have to balance good risk with bad risk,” said Marsh.The Chamber wants to study what a single-payer system would look like and how it would be funded. It also wants to study what the system would look like if it were government intervention free.”We want a cost comparison, structural comparison and we want the information to go forward.”We think Catamount Health should work and be sustainable before we expand it,” said Dawn Francis at the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. “We oppose the cost implications of the bill as currently drafted.”Klein was blunt in discussing the current legislative initiatives on health care.”Nobody likes what we have now for health care in terms of cost and coverage,” he admitted. “Most reasonable people would agree we can’t get universal coverage in one step. Anything that we can do to move forward on an incremental basis is better than nothing I believe. I think that is what the Legislature has attempted to do this session. The Legislature wanted to go further but there is no money.”There is considerable discussion about H863 “AN ACT RELATING TO CREATION AND PRESERVATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SMART GROWTH DEVELOPMENT.”The governor advanced an alternative, The Vermont Neighborhoods Bill. Marsh said the problem with the bill passed by the House “is it doesn’t allow for construction of needed homes to increase supply and reduce overall costs.”He said under this legislation “500 homes would be produced and the need is in the 12,000 home range, we need to balance demand and supply and control costs.”The Chamber said the Legislature “wants to contain housing to contiguous areas. We think there are areas of development that can be made without impacting the character of Vermont. We want to make it easier for more homes to be built.””What I heard on the floor of the house from developers,” said Klein, is “less regulation means more housing. That is a discussion most Vermonters don’t approve of anymore. We are well beyond that.”He said the Vermont Neighborhoods Bill, was a gut of Act 250. “What it did,” he explained, “was it took language from other programs tightly designed around their location. The program the administration offered was to let them build what they want where they want with no guaranteed of any affordability.””We are following H863 housing bill very closely,” said Francis with GBIC. Her group opposes the bill in its current form. “It offers very little gain for a lot of pain. We’re concerned the bill is too restrictive for the amount of land area that could be considered for regulatory relief and fee reduction. We would like to see more land area included for consideration of permit relief. It could be for commercial as well.”The current bill, said Francis, won’t result in any significant expansion of workforce housing. “This bill doesn’t have any money. It does have some tax credits for VFHA. There are no incentives for municipalities or the for-profit community to build.”Sam Matthews at Central Vermont Economic Development Corp has concerns with the bill. She is concerned the bill “doesn’t encourage new housing starts outside of state designated growth centers, meaning rural areas, which leaves the rural municipalities out of the equation.”Art Edelstein is a freelance writer from East Calais.last_img read more

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