Category: iqhrngmx

Greggs to feed the troops

first_imgBIA Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year, Greggs, is to supply savouries to the troops.The company is to partner to the Navy, Army & Air Force Institute (NAAFI) in a trial that will see Greggs’ products served at the British military base in Gutersloh, Germany.The move comes after it was revealed that Greggs was the most requested food brand.Greggs will be supplying a range of seven frozen savouries, including sausage rolls, steak bakes, chilli bakes and sausage & bean melts, which will be baked throughout the day and displayed in a Greggs branded savoury counter. Greggs will be training NAAFI personnel to ensure the troops get the same quality and fresh savouries they would in a Greggs shop at home.The trial will commence on 17 September and will run for 12 weeks. A decision on rolling out the concept more widely will be taken at the end of the trial.Ken McMeikan, chief executive of Greggs, said: “It’s great to hear that Greggs was the most requested brand that troops missed from home and we are really pleased to be making our savouries accessible to our troops in Germany, and, depending on the success of the trial, more widely available for our armed forces personnel around the world.”Mike Chapman, head of customer service for NAAFI, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring customers the taste of come that they have been asking for. Greggs is one of the most popular brands on the UK high street for its iconic sausage rolls and pasties, and our customers want us to deliver that to them during their NAAFI break.”last_img read more

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Sale of major stake in NBPO collapses

first_imgThe potential sale of nearly half of New Britain Palm Oil (NBPO) has fallen through, it has been announced.Earlier this year, the company had revealed that one of its major shareholders, Kulim, wanted to sell its 48.97% share in the palm oil company.Kulim had been in discussions with Sime Darby Berhad in an exclusivity period. However, Sime Darby has decided not to go through with the transaction.In a statement released by NBPO, which has a plant in Liverpool, the company said: “The board will consider another party for the transaction. Further announcements, where required, will be made in due course.”The company revealed strong half-year trading figures in August 2014, which saw an increase of 126.3% in pre-tax profit, for the six months ending 30 June 2014.NBPO is a major producer of palm oil from sustainable resources and employs around 100 staff at its refinery and bakery unit on Bootle’s Regent Road, Liverpool.last_img read more

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M&S food sales up 4% in Q4

first_imgIn its fourth-quarter trading update issued today (7 April), Marks & Spencer (M&S) has reported that food sales were up 4%, in contrast to its “unsatisfactory” clothing and home division.It was the first quarter under the management of recently-appointed chief executive Steve Rowe, who said he was “very proud and privileged to be leading M&S”.However, like for like (LFL) sales in its food division were flat (0.0% growth). In the statement, M&S said that its new store opening programme was performing “ahead of expectations”.Overall, group sales for the quarter were up 1.9%, while sales in its clothing and home division were down 1.9% (LFL -2.7%), and international sales were up 3.8%.Rowe said: “We had a mixed performance in the final quarter of the year. Our food business once again outperformed the market by c.3.5 percentage points. Although the sales decline in clothing and home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do.”The retailer’s share price rose more than 3% this morning, after the better-than-forecast set of fourth-quarter results.Last month, M&S started to offer pre-made mixes that you put in a mug and microwave, known as mug cakes.last_img read more

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Federation of Bakers: industry must adapt to new normal

first_imgSource: Federation of BakersGordon Polson, chief executive of the Federation of BakersThe baking industry can thrive in the post-pandemic market but will need to adapt to enduring consumer trends, according to Gordon Polson, chief executive of the Federation of Bakers.Polson insists he is optimistic about the future of the sector but acknowledges that Covid-19 will have a lasting effect, even once the virus is under control.“People still want to eat bread and it’s purchased by 98% of households but there are challenges,” he said.“I can think of one of my members who produces branded bread and also makes bread for a sandwich maker. The volume of the sandwich maker’s business is significantly down, maybe by 60%, while the branded element has increased.”This change in the balance of the market is likely to continue even once the Covid-19 vaccine begins to take effect and restrictions are lifted, he added.“If we’re honest, we probably don’t think that sandwich market will ever come back to the same level because of trends established during the pandemic, where people will be working from home more.“There won’t be so much of that out-of-home, food-on-the-go consumption but people will be consuming bread and bakery products in a different way than they did previously.”“People still want to eat bread and it’s purchased by 98% of households”Polson believes that the challenge for many companies is to “redirect some of the focus of the business” to account for market changes.This view is shared by Ross Hindle, analyst at business intelligence organisation Third Bridge, who recently commented that Greggs should develop more premium products to boost performance.Last week, the high street retail chain reported a drop in sales by £357m over the past year and warned that profits won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022.“The big question for Greggs remains around the group’s ability to shift its consumer perception away from a purely value proposition and into one where they can charge a price reflective of its improved quality and product offering,” Hindle said.“Greggs’ value-targeted product offerings and local town store locations put it in a good position for continued growth and success in 2021,” he added.Robust marketPolson is confident that the market will remain robust, despite changing consumer behaviour.“Bread is a developed and mature market and I think we will continue to see a huge variety on the supermarket shelf,” he said.Data from Mintel reported in November adds weight to Polson’s argument, showing that the UK bread market was on track for 3.5% value growth and the highest volume of sales since 2015.“We’ll see an emphasis on the nutritional benefits of the bread in terms of protein, vitamins and fibre,” Polson predicted.“And we will continue to promote the benefits of wholemeal bread, always remembering that white bread actually contributes more fibre in the diet than wholemeal bread because of the large volumes of white bread that people buy.”last_img read more

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Fruition Welcomes Jason Hann, Larry Keel & More At Ogden Theatre Debut

first_imgFor their debut at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO, it is safe to say that Fruition held nothing back and pulled together a truly magical night of music. Though the premiere jamgrass band has passed through Colorado in recent months, playing Red Rocks and a handful of festivals around the state, Friday’s performance was their first time back in the city of Denver since January. Clearly, Coloradans needed their Fruition fix, as the band’s first time playing the large venue, supported by the Larry Keel Experience, had their largest presale numbers to date. And, Fruition made sure to make a night of it for the eager fans who have waited patiently for their return. During the span of their two sets, the band welcomed six friends—Jason Hann of the String Cheese Incident, Bevin Foley of Trout Steak Revival, Brad Parsons, Andy Hall of the Infamous Stringdusters, Larry Keel, and Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon—to share the stage with them to create a night of music that was truly a privilege to witness.To start off the evening, the Larry Keel Experience, played some good ol’ fashioned bluegrass. Together, Larry Keel, the world-renowned flatpicker, Jenny Keel (bass), Jared Pool (mandolin), and special guest Andy Thorn (banjo) from Leftover Salmon set the tone of the evening with an energetic set that proved why the band is billed as an experience. To give the crowd a teaser of what to expect during the rest of the night, Larry welcomed Mimi Naja of Fruition to the stage for a cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” followed by a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia,” ending their set to explosive applause.Keeping on with the energy that the Larry Keel Experience had built during its set, Fruition did not waste any time once they got on stage. The band kicked off their night with “Labor of Love,” the title track of their latest album, which was released in April of this year. Mimi Naja started off the next song, “The Wanter,” on vocals and mandolin before the rest of the band dropped in for the song. Before moving into the next track, the band took a moment to bring up the house lights and look over the packed crowd. In contrast to the previous two energetic songs that opened the set, the band slowed things down with “I Can’t Stop,” a powerful ballad during which particularly Kellen Asebroek shone on the keys. “I Can’t Stop” transitioned directly into “I Don’t Mind,” a blues-rock anthem off their latest album, which featured a standout bassline by Jeff Leonard, soulful vocals by Mimi Naja, and impressive solos from Kellen Asebroek on keys and Jay Cobb Anderson on guitar, and which terminated with a section of a capalla harmonies that elicited a huge response from the crowd.For their first guest of the night, Fruition welcomed Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident, EOTO) to sit-in on “The Way That I Do.” Everyone on stage was all smiles as they moved through the upbeat love song, and Jason’s outstanding soloing on the djembe only amplified the feeling that the night was going to be something special. After Jason left the stage, Kellen Asebroek returned to the guitar and sang a powerful rendition of “Blue Light.” Jay Cobb Anderson introduced the next song as “a song for the mountain folk” before the band moved into crowd-favorite “Mountain Annie.” For the final chorus of “Mountain Annie”, the band held back, letting the audience sing the chorus, and the members on stage looked visibly moved by the crowd’s enthusiastic response.Bevin Foley of Trout Steak Revival accompanied the band for the next song, “Beside You,” and her violin part perfectly complimented the mourning tone of the soulful ballad. Following “Beside You,” Fruition invited singer and guitarist Brad Parsons to join Bevin as a guest on stage. The band covered Brad’s newly released track, “Montana,” which featured impressive solos from Bevin Foley and Mimi Naja, and introduced those unacquainted in the crowd to the powerhouse of a voice that is Brad Parsons. Watch Brad Parsons’ “Montana” with Fruition, courtesy of Tory Pittarelli of the Mischief Collective.Bevin Foley left the stage before Brad Parsons, again, showcased his jaw-dropping vocals on the next song, “Stay Close.” The punctuated instrumentation within the song enhanced the vocals and highlighted the impressive solos from Mimi, Jay, and Kellen. At the close of the song, Brad Parsons exited the stage, and Fruition welcomed yet another guest, Andy Hall from the Infamous Stringdusters, on stage to throw down on the dobro for the final heartfelt song of the set. During “Highway 1,” Andy Hall took center stage as he exchanged call-and-response solos with Jay Cobb Anderson and Mimi Naja. The band brought the song down to a moment of haunting vocal harmonies before bringing the energy levels back up to close out the first set.For the second set, the band opened with “There She Was,” with Mimi on electric guitar, and both Mimi and Jay showed off with some shreddy guitar solos before Kellen worked in a tease of “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music on keys. This was followed by “Santa Fe,” another favorite off of the band’s recent release, into “Never Again,” which opened with a quick drum break a la Tyler Thompson before moving into the energetic bluegrass song. The band slowed it down for the beautiful and moving “Come On, Get In,” which moved into “Just One of Them Nights.” Next, the band brought up the energy of the crowd with some rock and roll with “Lay Down Blues,” which featured frenetic and masterly soloing by Jay.Fruition kept the guests coming, bringing out Larry Keel on guitar halfway through the second set. This was a particularly beautiful thing to witness, as the band members noted that they have long looked up to Larry as an inspiration, and it was apparent how jazzed and grateful they were to bring him out. With Larry Keel, the band first played the slower and almost airy “Early Morning Wake Up,” which sped up into “Fire.” During “Fire,” an old-school guitar duel erupted as Jay and Larry took power stances and showed off their mindblowing skills, eliciting hoots and hollers from the crowd. As Jay and Larry took turns kneeling on stage and shredding, the other band members stepped back and looked as in awe as those in the crowd.“Fire” moved into Neil Young’s “Ohio,” during which every person in the crowded theater was feeling the music, even the security guards by the front of the stage who were bobbing their heads along and grinning. “Ohio” moved back into “Fire” to bring a climactic end to Larry Keel’s cameo with the band. After Larry scampered off stage, the band looked almost in a state of shock, with Kellen asking “What just happened?” and Mimi instructing the crowd to raise their glasses and leading a cheers to the historic moment that had just occurred.Mimi had one of her strongest vocal showings of the night during “I Should Be,” and she mesmerized the audience with her ability to imbue a huge amount of emotion with her soulful vocal stylings during the slower rock ballad. As if the Larry Keel sit-in wasn’t enough, following “I Should Be,” the band welcomed to the stage Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon on banjo. For “Daddy Lessons,” a cover from Beyonce’s Lemonade, which featured Mimi, a noted Beyonce enthusiast, on vocals. The choice of a pop-song cover featuring Andy Thorn echoes Leftover Salmon New Year’s set last year in Portland, OR at the Roseland Ballroom, during which Mimi sat in with Leftover to sing Adele’s “Hello.” Following “Daddy Lessons,” after a few minutes of confusion, Jason Hann was properly located and welcomed back on stage to join Andy Thorn and the band in the Talking Heads’ “Nothing But Flowers.” This was a particularly joyous moment of the night, not only because of the happy-go-lucky nature of the song but also because of how everyone on stage was clearly having a ball trading off solos and playing together. Jason Hann exited the stage, leaving Andy Thorn and Fruition on stage for the next song. Jay, before moving into “Falling on my Face,” noted that the song is not a traditional banjo song but that he was stoked to have Andy Thorn play on it. Andy Thorn’s banjo playing was a perfect complement to “Falling on my Face,” as the banjo cascading above the heavier rock song and filled out the sound beautifully.Andy Thorn exited the stage, and the band welcomed Brad Parsons back again to sing the cheery “Somehow, Some Way, Some Day.” Brad Parsons’ vocals took the song to the next level, and again, the euphoria of the musicians was contagious as Brad Parsons and Kellen Asebroek bounced around the stage grinning. The five members of Fruition closed out the second set with a truly beautiful and moving version of “The Meaning.” As the crowd sang out the line “Life’s for the living,” Kellen laughed, clearly caught off guard to some extent by the crowd’s response. The song was a perfect cap for the set, and the packed theater went wild at its conclusion.Watch Fruition’s “Somehow, Some Way, Some Day” with Brad Parsons, courtesy of Tory Pittarelli at the Mischief Collective.For the encore, Fruition played the Beatles’ “I Got A Feeling,” during which Mimi and Jay switched off vocals and, at points, shared the same mic. For the last song of the night, Jay noted that they “had to play their Colorado song” before the band moved into an a capella harmony that kicked off “Meet Me on the Mountain.” Mimi and Jay both used the song as a time to get up close and personal with the pit, taking a knee at the front of the stage during their solos. The song closed with the house lights being brought up, and the crowd singing the chorus a capella, solidifying the night as a truly magical one.It’s easy to understand why Fruition’s fan base has grown so quickly over the years and is so dedicated to the band, as anyone who gets a chance to see them falls in love with their eclectic mix of musical stylings and heartfelt and playful stage presence. To the people that I spoke to during and after the show, many noted that Fruition has an ability to evoke such a range of sincere emotions in those listening, and Friday’s show at the Ogden was certainly no different. If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and check out Fruition during their upcoming tour dates, which are listed below and on the band’s website.All photos appear courtesy of Rios Photography.Listen to the whole show below, courtesy of Terry Lapointe:Setlist: Fruition at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO – 10/21/16Set I: Labor of Love, The Wanter, I Can’t Stop, I Don’t Mind, The Way That I Do [1], Blue Light, Mountain Annie, Beside You [2], Montana* [2, 3], Stay Close [3], Highway 1 [4]Set II: There She Was, Santa Fe, Never Again, Come On, Get In, Just One of Them Nights, Lay Down Blues, Early Morning Wake Up [5], Fire > Ohio > Fire [5], I Should Be, Daddy Lessons** [6], Nothing But Flowers*** [1, 6], Falling on my Face [6], Somehow [7], The MeaningEncore: I Got A Feeling****, Meet Me on the Mountain[1] Jason Hann on percussion[2] Bevin Foley on violin[3] Brad Parsons on guitar and vocals[4] Andy Hall on dobro[5] Larry Keel on guitar[6] Andy Thorn on banjo[7] Brad Parsons on vocals*Brad Parsons original**Beyonce cover***Talking Heads cover****Beatles coverFruition Upcoming Tour DatesOctober 22 – Aspen, CO – The Belly UpOctober 27 – Live Oak, FL – Suwanee HulaweenNovember 4 – Atlanta, GA – Variety PlayhouseNovember 5 – Athens, GA – Georgia TheatreNovember 6 – Jackson, MS – Duling HallNovember 9 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity TheatreNovember 10 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec TheatreNovember 11 – Houston, TX – House of BluesNovember 12 – Austin, TX – Emo’sDecember 29 – Portland, OR – The Wonder BallroomDecember 30 – Portland, OR – The Wonder BallroomDecember 31 – Portland, OR – The Wonder Ballroom Load remaining images Photo: Andrew Rioslast_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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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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FairPoint releases Q3 financial report

first_img‘ 213,483202,784216,582211,598218,177 Prepaid and other assets Net income (loss)$(330,961) Predecessor Company (4)  High-speed data subscribers include DSL, fiber-to-the-premise, cable modem and fixed wireless broadband. Loss before reorganization items and income taxes (73,414) 34 (21,064) 9,017 (Unaudited) Two Hundred Forty- 105,497 3Q11 Reported2Q11 Reported1Q11 Reported4Q10 Reported3Q10 Restated 725,786 (4,457) Other $              60,453$              70,499$              49,085$              83,987$              59,203 $              35,170$              52,121$              53,725$              40,868$              53,705 Claims payable and estimated claims accrual (35,358) Twenty-Four $           (279,441)$             (27,097)$            562,484$             (74,987)$             (66,084) (17,147) Prepaid expenses Ended 24,746 (1)  Following FairPoint’s emergence from Chapter 11 on January 24, 2011, all reorganization items are reported in total operating expenses.   ‘ (5,290) Net cash used in investing activities 21,515 Post-retirement accruals 215,218 Total liabilities not subject to compromise Accounts payable and the Nine Months ended September 30, 2010 Two Hundred Forty- 13,049 -1.1%-1.1%-1.2%-2.1%-2.2% (12,477) ‘ December 31, 130,933 Additional paid-in capital, Successor Company payable and estimated claims accrual or liabilities subject 120,149 2,960 Total switched access lines (1,608) Repayment of capital lease obligations 17,821 (322,061) 80,796 Net income (loss) Restricted cash Successor ‘ $2,973,794 Successor Company January 24, 2011 ‘ $‘ Total operating expenses 27,161 Business access lines Other accrued liabilities September 30, 2011 1,709 Claims payable and estimated claims accrual 89,424 Total assets$2,068,771 Accrued interest payable 3,561,212 268 Provision for uncollectible revenue 360,779 (Restated) Total current liabilities Net income (loss) 131,160 311,613 257,912262,636254,780267,992260,630 3,943 Access (3)  Wholesale access lines include Resale and UNE-P, but exclude UNE-L and special access circuits.   Long-term debt, net of current portion (46,634) 389,445 Capital additions included in accounts payable, claims (195,098) 894 Other non-cash items, net (2b) (3,423) 458,471 1,818 Other long-term liabilities Interest expense Predecessor Company 1,075,392 290,058 Other assets 3 4883503493772,207 Capital lease obligations Basic$(10.89)$(0.74) (322,061) 655,901 Reorganization costs paid 2,338 636 ‘ ‘ 262,019 344,463 Assets 33,972 $           (279,441)$             (27,097)$            562,484$             (74,987)$             (66,084) Interest expense 1,898,365 125,170 Restricted cash – cash claims reserve Predecessor Company 262,019 Liabilities not subject to compromise: Deferred income tax, net Consolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) (FairPoint or the Company), a leading provider of communications services, November 2 announced its financial results for the third quarter endedSept. 30, 2011Related QuotesSymbolPriceChangeFRP5.10+0.15{“s” : “frp”,”k” : “a00,a50,b00,b60,c10,g00,h00,l10,p20,t10,v00″,”o” : “”,”j” : “”}As previously announced, the Company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its results at10:00 a.m. (EDT)onThursday, Nov. 3, 2011.”We accomplished great things this quarter,” said Paul H. Sunu, CEO of FairPoint.  “Despite a major storm affecting much of our footprint, we delivered a solid quarter operationally and financially.  High-speed Internet subscriber growth remains strong and we continue to improve the rate of voice access line loss.  I’m impressed with the Company’s resolve and our team’s ability to execute.” 89,695 15,713 January 24, 2011 ‘ Wholesale access lines (3) Predecessor ‘ Other income (expense): (809) —-1,397 Total stockholders’ equity (deficit) 350,684 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets Consolidated EBITDAR(1) before pension contribution and storm-related expenses of $70.6 millionHigh-speed Internet subscriber growth accelerates to 8.2% year-over-year, versus a 1.7% loss a year earlierVoice access line loss slows to 8.8% year-over-year, versus 11.0% a year earlierNet loss of $279.4 million driven by non-cash accounting charge of $262.0 millionOperating and Regulatory HighlightsHigh-speed Internet subscriber growth accelerated to 8.2% year-over-year, compared to a 5.4% increase in the second quarter of 2011 and a 1.7% decline in the third quarter of 2010.  FairPoint has added more than 22,000 high-speed Internet subscribers year-to-date, compared to less than 400 for the first nine months of 2010.  High-speed Internet penetration reached 29.6% of voice access lines at Sept. 30, 2011, as the Company surpassed 312,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in service’another all-time high.Voice access line loss slowed for the sixth consecutive quarter, reaching 8.8% year-over-year versus 9.3% in the second quarter of 2011 and 11.0% in the third quarter of 2010.On Sept. 8, 2011, the Company announced it would reduce its work force by approximately 400 employees by year-end.  The initiative is expected to result in operating expense savings of approximately $34 million annually, with the full benefit realized in 2012.  As of Sept. 30, 2011, the Company had approximately 3,700 employees, compared to approximately 4,000 at June 30, 2011, with most of the reduction occurring in late September.  FairPoint incurred $3.3 million in severance and incentive payments in the third quarter.  The Company expects the total severance and incentive payments related to this work force reduction initiative will range from $7 million to $13 million.FairPoint continued its fiber-to-the-tower expansion during the quarter.  As of Sept. 30, 2011, fiber had been placed to more than 700 of the approximately 800 towers that the Company has announced it intends to serve with fiber.Financial HighlightsThird Quarter 2011 as compared to Second Quarter 2011Revenue was $257.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $262.6 million in the second quarter of 2011.  The unfavorable variance of $4.7 million was primarily the result of two items.  First, the Company recognized a one-time revenue benefit of $4.0 million in the second quarter related to the reversal of retail and wholesale service quality penalties.  Second, service outages related to Hurricane Irene resulted in approximately $0.8 million of incremental service quality penalties during the third quarter.  Excluding these two items, revenue was essentially flat on a sequential basis as declines in voice services revenue were offset by increases in access revenue, data and Internet services revenue and other revenue.Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, were $213.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $202.8 million in the second quarter of 2011.  The unfavorable variance of $10.7 million was primarily the result of three items that impacted the third quarter.  First, non-cash other post-employment benefit (“OPEB”) expense increased by approximately $4.9 million after the Company received its annual actuarial study and booked a true-up to the liability.  Second, FairPoint recognized severance charges of $3.3 million related to the work force reduction initiative.  Both non-cash OPEB and severance expense are add-backs for Consolidated EBITDAR as defined in the Company’s credit facility.  Third, storm-related activities following Hurricane Irene resulted in approximately $3.2 million of increased overtime and contracted services expense.Consolidated EBITDAR was $60.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $70.5 million in the second quarter of 2011.  The $10.0 million unfavorable variance was primarily the result of two items.  First, the Company made a $6.8 million cash contribution to its pension plan during the third quarter, of which approximately $6.2 million was related to operating expenses.  Prior to the third quarter, FairPoint had not made a cash contribution to the pension plan.  As a result, Consolidated EBITDAR declined $6.2 million sequentially for this item.  Second, the impact of Hurricane Irene totaled approximately $4.0 million between revenue and operating expenses in the third quarter.Net loss was $279.4 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $27.1 million in the second quarter of 2011.  Net loss increased due to a non-cash goodwill and trade name impairment charge booked in the third quarter of $262.0 million, which was precipitated by the decline of FairPoint’s stock price in recent months.Capital expenditures were $35.2 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $52.1 million in the second quarter of 2011.  FairPoint completed its Vermont broadband buildout during the second quarter of 2011 and has now satisfied its regulatory broadband commitment in the state.  In addition, spending on the Company’s fiber-to-the-tower initiative was lower in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter.FairPoint’s cash position was $9.9 million as of Sept. 30, 2011, versus $13.1 million at June 30, 2011.  The Company has not drawn on its $75 million revolving credit facility and, as of Sept. 30, 2011, it had $62.6 million available for borrowing, net of $12.4 million of outstanding letters of credit.Third Quarter 2011 as compared to Third Quarter 2010Revenue was $257.9 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $260.6 million a year earlier.  The decrease was primarily the result of an 8.8% decline in voice access lines year-over-year, which led to decreases in voice services and access revenue.  Partially offsetting the decline was a $3.4 million reduction in service quality penalties and a 12.6% increase in data and Internet services revenue.Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, were $213.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $218.2 million a year earlier.  The favorable variance of $4.7 million would have been greater if not for three items in the third quarter of 2011.  First, non-cash OPEB expense increased versus a year earlier by approximately $3.3 million after the Company received its annual actuarial study and booked a true-up to the liability.  Second, severance charges increased approximately $3.0 million versus a year earlier as a result of the work force reduction initiative.  Both non-cash OPEB and severance expense are add-backs for Consolidated EBITDAR as defined in the Company’s credit facility.  Third, overtime and contracted services expense were higher by approximately $4.0 million due primarily to storm-related activities following Hurricane Irene.  If not for these three items, expenses would have declined by more than $15.0 million versus a year ago.  The primary drivers of the decrease were a reduction in bad debt expense, a reduction in employee costs and other operating expense reductions.Consolidated EBITDAR was $60.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $59.2 million a year earlier.  The benefit from operating expense reductions made during the last 12 months was offset primarily by two items in the third quarter of 2011.  First, the Company made a $6.8 million cash contribution to its pension plan during the third quarter, of which approximately $6.2 million was related to operating expenses.  Prior to the third quarter of 2011, FairPoint had not made a cash contribution to the pension plan.  As a result, Consolidated EBITDAR declined $6.2 million for this item.    Second, the impact of Hurricane Irene totaled approximately $4.0 million between revenue and operating expenses.Capital expenditures were $35.2 million in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to $53.7 million a year earlier, when the Company was aggressively expanding its broadband network to meet certain regulatory commitments in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont by year end 2010.Quarterly ReportThe information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and footnotes contained in the Company’s quarterly report for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011, which will be filed with the SEC on or prior to Nov. 15, 2011. The Company’s results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011, are subject to the completion of its quarterly report for such period.Fresh Start AccountingOn Jan. 24, 2011, the Company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and its Plan of Reorganization became effective.  For purposes of generally accepted accounting principles, the Company adopted fresh start accounting as of Jan. 24, 2011, whereby the Company’s assets and liabilities were marked to their fair value as of the date of emergence.  Accordingly, the Company’s condensed consolidated statements of financial position and operations for periods after Jan. 24, 2011, will not be comparable in many respects to periods prior to the adoption of fresh start accounting.Conference Call InformationAs previously announced, FairPoint will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its third quarter 2011 results at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.Participants should call (866) 804-6920 (US/Canada) or (857) 350-1666 (international) at 9:50 a.m. (EDT) and enter the passcode 70534871 when prompted.   The title of the call is the Q3 2011 FairPoint Communications, Inc. Earnings Conference Call.A telephonic replay will be available for anyone unable to participate in the live call. To access the replay, call (888) 286-8010 (US/Canada) or (617) 801-6888 (international) and enter the passcode 31962362 when prompted.  The recording will be available from Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) through Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. (EST).A live broadcast of the earnings conference call will be available online at is external). An online replay will be available shortly thereafter.Use of Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresThis press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, including but not limited to Consolidated EBITDAR and adjustments to GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items. Management believes that Consolidated EBITDAR may be useful to investors in assessing the Company’s operating performance and its ability to meet its debt service requirements, and the maintenance covenants contained in the Company’s credit facility are based on Consolidated EBITDAR.  In addition, management believes that the adjustments to GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items may be useful to investors in understanding period-to-period operating performance and in identifying historical and prospective trends. However, the non-GAAP financial measures, as used herein, are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, Consolidated EBITDAR has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, net income or loss, operating income, cash flow or other combined income or cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because of these limitations, Consolidated EBITDAR and related ratios should not be considered as measures of discretionary cash available to invest in business growth or reduce indebtedness. The Company compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on its GAAP results and using Consolidated EBITDAR only supplementally.  A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to net income is contained in the attachments to this press release.About FairPoint Communications, Inc.FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) ( is external)) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable network, FairPoint delivers affordable data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePoint(SM) services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art network provides Ethernet connections that support applications like video conferencing, e-learning and other broadband based applications. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at is external).Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking StatementsSome statements herein or discussed on our earnings conference call are known as “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained herein that are not historical facts. When used herein, the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other factors. You should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  However, your attention is directed to any further disclosures made on related subjects in the Company’s subsequent reports filed with the SEC.Certain information contained herein or discussed on our earnings conference call may constitute guidance as to projected financial results and the Company’s future performance that represents management’s estimates as of the date hereof. This guidance, which consists of forward-looking statements, is prepared by the Company’s management and is qualified by, and subject to, certain assumptions. Guidance is not prepared with a view toward compliance with published guidelines of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and neither the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm nor any other independent expert or outside party compiles or examines the guidance and, accordingly, no such person expresses any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto. Guidance is based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the Company’s control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. Management generally states possible outcomes as high and low ranges which are intended to provide a sensitivity analysis as variables are changed but are not intended to represent actual results, which could fall outside of the suggested ranges. The principal reason that the Company releases this data is to provide a basis for management to discuss the Company’s business outlook with analysts and investors. The Company does not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by any such outside analysts or investors. Guidance is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions of the guidance furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, the Company’s guidance is only an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date hereof. Actual results will vary from the guidance and the variations may be material. Investors should also recognize that the reliability of any forecasted financial data diminishes the farther in the future that the data is forecast. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged to put the guidance in context and not to place undue reliance on it.(1) Consolidated EBITDAR means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring items as defined in the Company’s credit facility.  Consolidated EBITDAR is a non-GAAP financial measure.  A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to net income is contained in the attachments to this press release.FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES (305,402)(33,272)(48,832)(18,212)(29,911) FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations 89,424 ‘ $2,973,794 ($ in thousands, except per unit) (9,453) (1,500) Total other income (expense) 2,207 Impairment of intangible assets and goodwill Days Ended 276,204 290,541 ‘ (2)  For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint’s credit facility allows it to adjust for:   25,654 Nine Months Net capital additions Reorganization items Accounts receivable, net Depreciation and amortization Ended $10,262$99,706 27,524 1,898,365 9,921 September 30, 2010 Current assets: 1,675 Prepaid pension asset $708,950$66,378$802,994 Three Months 2,737 and amortization 262,019—- Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information: Loan origination costs Twenty-Four (3,735) 70,323 4,296 93,334 authorized, issued and outstanding 89,440,334 shares at Cash flows from investing activities: Unamortized investment tax credits Successor % change q-o-q Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 72,364 244,940 Supplemental Financial Information 183 Reorganization related (income) expense Total revenue 177 1,321 (Restated) (20,219) 260,518(138)(912,270)16,0961,066 Distributions from investments 7,330 262,019 Successor Company common stock, $0.01 par value, 37,500,000 shares 189,247 Total operating expenses (587,418) (220,666) 866,796 Summary Income Statement: (91,727) (305,402) All other allowed adjustments, net (2e) Intangible assets, net (366,442) 130 38,766 Other income (expense): Accounts receivable Current portion of capital lease obligations -5.4%-6.4%-6.8%-8.3%-9.3% Nine Months (45,315) ‘ 42,620 488 Company 80,02582,23184,66787,14289,035 (29,911) ‘ 24 Days ended January 24, 2011 and Three and Nine Months ended September 30, 2010 Total adjustments 27,575 Other services ‘ Reorganization adjustments: Loss before reorganization items and income taxes ‘ 91,54790,61484,29474,60672,364 (411,757) -2.1%-2.1%-2.2%-2.7%-2.6% 2010 18,841 1,250 2,030 ‘ 87,442 ‘ (64,091) 563,314 662,562680,189695,916712,591734,260 56,544 92,246 Three Months Income tax benefit (expense) 1,731,931 (68) ‘ (Loss) income before income taxes 170,406 94,64693,12891,35892,12895,923 (Loss) earnings per share: (156,478) (14,375) FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 89,424 (Unaudited) 4,310 (1,667) (9,321)center_img Loss on abandoned projects 1,944 563,314295,908303,612286,204290,541 312,475305,155297,491289,745288,891 89,424 99,412 262       d)  the impact from any restatement of financial statements for the periods ending on or prior to January 24, 2011, and   Other income (expense), net 1,319 September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2010 2,866(246)219732(999) ‘ Property, plant and equipment, net (Unaudited) (in thousands) (9,649) ‘ Total current assets Residential access lines 113,034 Impairment of intangible assets and goodwill Deferred income taxes 1,056,8771,080,0041,102,6891,127,5451,158,629 (128,538) 1,991 (721) Diluted Current portion of long-term debt$7,500 ‘      During Chapter 11, all reorganization items were reported below operating income in Reorganization Items.   (103,371) December 31, 2010 Stockholders’ equity (deficit): (12,477) 25,654 $            120,388$            127,085$            124,225$            136,664$            125,598 Revenues$257,912$260,630 25,512 3,454 118,765 $(12.90)$6.56$(2.31) 524,741 Employee benefit obligations 986 67,381 244,940 13,357 (33,151) (411,757) Access line equivalents 31,152 1,859,700 202,602 245,132 1,511 Cash flows from operating activities: Predecessor Company common stock, $0.01 par value, 200,000,000 shares operating activities: ‘ September 30, 2011 (410) (212,804) -8.8%-9.3%-9.6%-10.3%-11.0% 6,092 904 Operating expenses: 11,110 Total liabilities Operating expenses: Cash, beginning of period 12,82912,57410,70211,69612,418 1,839 31,400 Depreciation and amortization (2,636) (917,358) 2011 Accrued interest payable Cash, end of period$9,852 314,290317,584322,106327,812335,334 (10,352) ‘ 166,434 Debt issue costs, net Nine Days Ended Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by 1,718,352 8.2%5.4%4.8%0.4%-1.7% Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (25,568) Deferred income taxes 63,279 (1,096) ‘ 21,515 Diluted$(10.89)$(0.74) 992,500 to compromise at period-end $(12.90)$6.54$(2.31) Income tax (benefit) expense (667,998) (132) September 30, 2010       a)  aggregate pension and other post-employment benefits expense (OPEB), net of pension contributions and OPEB cash payments in the period,   (81,091) 144,092 Depreciation and amortization 501,105 September 30, 2011 723 (156,927) 109,355 Non-cash pension and OPEB expense (2a) Changes in assets and liabilities arising from operations: Consolidated EBITDAR Reconciliation: Total other expense Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity (deficit)$2,068,771 25,648 25,648 Successor Company 8442,60817,32614,94811,395 ‘ High-speed data subscribers (4) (1,100) (16,659) (13,350) $105,497 5,513 89,424 (in thousands, except share data) % change y-o-y ‘ (63,062) Reorganization expense (post-emergence) (1) Days Ended Cash flows from financing activities: Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities (18) 249 Days ended September 30, 2011, 24 Days ended January 24, 2011 (7,752)       e)  other items including success bonuses, severance, non-cash gains/losses, non-operating dividend and interest income and other extraordinary gains/losses.   Company Net change 2,905,311 2,777 10,262 % change y-o-y 17,14716,99621,81235,18735,358 183 119 $(330,961)$586,907$(206,592) 14,963 (1,101,294) 449 ‘ 102,535 1,250 14,074 Cost of services and sales, excluding depreciation (unaudited) 897,313 1,737 (279,889) Consolidated EBITDAR margin Other non cash items Three Months ended September 30, 2011, 249 Days ended September 30, 2011, Selling, general and administrative expense, excluding Revenue: Voice services 30,258 Accrued pension obligation Select Operating and Financial Metrics: (Restated) September 30, 2,420 (150) September 30, 2010 12,398 1,678 59,603 Income tax benefit (expense) Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Total long-term liabilities Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization Data and Internet services 269,912 Ended (30,517) (80,119) Liabilities subject to compromise 127,510 Accumulated other comprehensive loss 2,654 (17,147)(16,996)(21,812)(35,187)(35,358) Nine Days Ended 321,790 September 30, 2011 (16,659)(16,646)(21,463)(34,810)(33,151) 595,120 Materials and supplies Reorganization items (1) –897,313(15,552)(10,352) (884) Basic 11,488 42,62022,821(264,534)(6,413)7,330 23.4%26.8%19.3%31.3%22.7% 66,557 (3,735)2,5102,736– (201) (322,061)(49,918)827,018(68,574)(73,414) Income (loss) before income taxes 3,004 Interest expense 894,721 Goodwill 7,509 91,54790,61484,29474,60672,364 215,218 91,547 Restricted cash Restructuring costs (2c) 22,193 Restatement impact, net (2d) Capital expenditures Consolidated EBITDAR Depreciation and amortization depreciation and amortization Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt Pension accruals Other current assets (322,061)(49,918)(70,295)(53,022)(63,062) Additional paid-in capital, Predecessor Company (105,709) (95,235) Cash$9,852 Retained deficit Impairment of intangible assets and goodwill 27,886 1,369,3521,385,1591,400,1801,417,2901,447,520 % change y-o-y % change q-o-q Company penetration of access lines Loss from operations (127,902) 87,915 Loss from operations Ended 2.4%2.6%2.7%0.3%-0.2% Weighted average shares outstanding: 29.6%28.3%27.0%25.7%24.9% authorized, 26,198,640 shares issued and outstanding at 9,59210,58310,68610,99212,036 (42,620)(22,821)264,5346,413(7,330) 30,04929,84928,49527,50426,691 Restricted cash       b)  other non-cash items except to the extent they will require a cash payment in a future period,   Other assets and liabilities, net (330,961) Non-cash reorganization income $586,907$(206,592) % change q-o-q Net (loss) income$(279,441)$(66,084) (in thousands)       c)  costs related to the restructuring, including professional fees for advisors and consultants,   FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES 19,282 (82,764) Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit)last_img read more

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CISA held until fall, NCUA vendor authority amendment out

first_imgThe U.S. Senate will hold off on voting on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) until after the August recess, but a CUNA-opposed amendment was not added to the bill.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reached an agreement late Wednesday to consider 10 Republican amendments and 11 Democratic amendments– the amendment regarding the National Credit Union Administration was excluded from that list.CUNA wrote Wednesday in opposition to the amendment, submitted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), that would have granted NCUA supervision authority over third-party vendors.CUNA told Senate leadership that the amendment would increase the regulatory burden facing credit unions while bringing no apparent positives to members. In addition, the amendment was unnecessary, because credit unions are already required to perform due diligence when it comes to third-party relationships. That due diligence is currently subject to supervision by the NCUA. continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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4 leadership lessons for your children

first_img 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details As a leader, you’re shaping the minds of young professionals and preparing them to be leaders in the not-so-distant future. If you’re also a parent, you get the privilege of creating young leaders from scratch. Here are some leadership lessons that can help you mold your kids into the leaders of tomorrow.Be a good communicator: One of the biggest problems in the workplace is a lack of good communication. By teaching your kids how to effectively communicate from a young age, you’re setting them up for success down the road. Make it so your kids are comfortable enough to talk to you about whatever it is that is bothering them, while setting the example of what it looks like to be a good listener.Keep getting back up: Everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay. Teach your kids that mistakes happen and they’re a great way to learn valuable lessons. It’s also a great time to teach children about getting back up after you fall down. Instill persistence in your children and teach them the importance of persevering.Ask for help when you need it: You can’t always find success if you’re completely on your own. Even the most talented pro athletes have top notch trainers, coaches, and teammates. Teach children about the importance of teamwork, and how help from others can propel them to success.Think outside the box: The answer to every problem isn’t always right in front of your eyes. Coming up with new ways to solve a problem is vital in leadership. When your kids are facing issues they find tough, give them opportunities to come up with interesting ways to solve them.last_img read more

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Indonesia launches media blitz about avian flu

first_imgSep 1, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia launched a month-long, nationwide media campaign today to warn people to take precautions against H5N1 avian influenza, according to news services.Public service announcements on radio and television will urge people to wash their hands after contact with poultry, keep birds out of living areas, and cook poultry products thoroughly, according to a Bloomberg News report. People are also being urged to report sick birds to authorities and to seek treatment for illnesses that follow contact with poultry.”We want bird flu to become part of history,” said Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the country’s avian flu commission, as quoted in an Associated Press article in the Jakarta Post today.The campaign is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Japanese government and supported by the World Health Organization, Bloomberg reported.A UNICEF official in Indonesia, Gianfranco Rotigliano, warned that the government faces a “huge challenge” in trying to teach the rural population about avian flu, given the country’s great size and many ethnic groups, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today.The government said last month that about 30 million families keep backyard chickens, and during avian flu containment efforts, many refuse to turn in their birds despite offers of compensation, AFP reported.Indonesia has had 60 human cases of H5N1 infection, 46 of them fatal, the second highest case count (after Vietnam) and the highest death toll.In other news, Chinese officials are seeking 500 volunteers for the second clinical trial of an H5N1 vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd., AFP reported yesterday.No serious adverse reactions were reported among 120 volunteers who participated in the first trial of the vaccine, officials announced earlier this week.The Beijing Youth Daily said the aim of the second trial is to see how long the vaccine’s protective effect lasts, according to AFP.Sinovac announced this week that it plans to produce 20 million doses of the vaccine annually over the next few years, AFP reported.last_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Jan. 26

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProhibition disaster continues with potRegarding the Jan. 19 opinion column, “Is marijuana the next Prohibition battle?” I’m surprised it took so long for two college professors to question the federal government’s hypocrisy.For 83 years now, powerful politicians have refused to end our costly, unjustifiable war against female cannabis flowers.  In discussing alcohol Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, Donald Boudreaux and Adam Pritchard made their own “important omission,” that of the major role played afterward by one mean federal bureaucrat  named Harry Anslinger.In 1937, Anslinger cemented his reputation as a purveyor of nonsense regarding female cannabis flowers at a committee hearing in the U.S. Congress. Citing biased newspaper articles as evidence, he testified that “marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”Basically, the same Puritanical fervor that resulted in a constitutional ban of alcoholic products later emboldened Anslinger, the first federal drug czar, to arbitrarily impose anti-“marihuana” spending on the states. (That’s been the legal spelling all these decades.)Today, with more than 30 of 50 states openly defying the federal ban, it is now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who exercises the power to do nothing but prolong that total waste of our tax dollars.Anslinger must be delighted in his grave by the public policy disaster that he instituted.Lawrence GoodwinMiltonPolice need access  to records for safetyI rarely agree with your left leaning editorial page, but I enjoyed a vacation from that position on January 15. Your stance on the “Green Light” law is entirely correct.Good decisions require the best, accurate information one can gather before making such decisions.Denying the latest, accurate information to law enforcement personnel in any potentially dangerous situation is a disgrace. The first and primary function of government at federal, state and local levels is protection of the citizenry. The “Green Light” law throws that principle in the trash.“Green Light,” bail reform…what’s next? Voters, wake up.New York state is one of the  50 United States of America, a constitutional federal republic, and cannot and should not expect to enjoy the benefits of the republic of which it is part while rejecting the responsibilities.As you well know, the assault on your position has already begun. Stand firm.Greg SheyonGlenvilleCivics education vital to future citizenshipThe Jan. 13 Gazette (“Earning the ‘gold standard’”) reported on a recent proposal to the state Board of Regents that would give high school graduates the opportunity to earn a “seal of civic readiness” on their diploma, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of social studies and civic participation.Just 24% of eighth-graders who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress civics exam in 2018 were deemed proficient in civics.Preparing and encouraging students to participate in their government and their community are important components of our responsibility to educate our children.Research has proven that students’ community service and experience outside the classroom are critical to their learning and preparation for college, career and life.Teenagers engaged in civics make greater scholastic progress during high school and acquire higher levels of education than their otherwise similar peers.The likelihood of college graduation is 22% higher for students who participated in high school community service to fulfill class requirements.As the Regents consider updating graduation requirements, I urge them to ensure that civic readiness and engagement are included.At Passport for Good, we measure the positive impact of student engagement outside the classroom in participation-in-government classes, honor societies and community service activities in schools across the state. We see firsthand the positive impact such engagement has on students, their schools and communities.New York should adopt measures to ensure students and their parents understand that such engagement is an important part of long-term success and the development of good citizens.Gayle FarmanBethlehemThe writer is founder of Passport for Good.More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

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Premier League launches reporting system for online abuse

first_imgPlayers, managers and coaching staff will be able to flag up serious discriminatory online abuse through a dedicated reporting system, the Premier League announced on Wednesday.Targeting direct messages received on social media platforms, the Premier League says the central rapid response reporting system could lead to legal action where appropriate.”Online discriminatory abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and tackling this issue must be a priority,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said on Wednesday. “The Premier League will not tolerate discriminatory behavior in any form and we, alongside The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA will continue to challenge major social media companies that fail to do enough to block offensive discriminatory material and identify and ban offenders from their platforms.”The growth of social media has fuelled discriminatory abuse of footballers in recent years.Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have both been victims while Watford’s Troy Deeney claims he was ignored when he reported monkey emojis directed at him on social media.Former Manchester United player and now Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville last year urged players to boycott social media.Since the restart of the Premier League this month, players have shown strong support for the Black Lives Matter campaign. Topics : “There are too many instances of footballers and their families receiving appalling discriminatory messages; nobody should have to deal with this.”Each case will be will be reviewed, reported to the relevant social media company and investigated.Masters highlighted the racist abuse recently received online by former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, saying the new system will help track down the perpetrator.”The Premier League strongly condemns this deeply offensive behavior. We immediately implemented our reporting system and will support Ian in any endeavor to bring the offenders to justice,” Masters said.last_img read more

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Drug-driving testing: ‘If it saves one life, it’s worth it’

first_imgStuff 28 October 2018Family First Comment: AA figures show last year drug-drivers were involved in 79 fatal crashes, topping the 70 drink-drivers. That number increased from 14 drugged drivers in fatal crashes in 2013, to 59 in 2016.“The driver.. smoked meth and cannabis in the hour before the truck slid off the road.”#saynopetodopewww.VoteNo.nzA woman whose son was killed by a driver on methamphetamine is disappointed a bill allowing roadside drug-driving tests has been thrown out.The bill would introduce random roadside saliva drug tests, but was voted out after its first reading in Parliament last week, with 56 votes for and 63 against.Christchurch woman Lee-ann Forster said random drug testing could prevent crashes like the one that killed her son.“I’m all for drug testing, even if it saves one life it would be worth it,” Forster said.Forster’s son Dylan Sutton, 24, was in the front passenger seat of a four-wheel-drive that flipped into a vineyard near Blenheim in March 2017.The driver i, Blenheim man Stewart Holdem, smoked meth and cannabis in the hour before the truck slid off the road.Holdem was found guilty of manslaughter and two counts of dangerous driving causing injury, and sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment in July.READ MORE: read more

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Village councilman jailed for owning unlicensed gun

first_imgThe 32-year-old Harold Tablazon wascaught after the police raided his house on the strength of a search warrantaround 6 a.m. on Dec. 7. Upon his arrest, police recovered fromTablazon a .45-caliber gun with several live bullets.   The suspect was detained in the lockupcell of the Tubungan police station. ILOILO City – For owning an unlicensedgun, a village councilman was arrested in Barangay Ago, Tubungan, Iloilo. center_img Theweapon was confiscated after Tablazon failed to present its license. Charges for violation of Republic Act10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act will befiled against him./PNlast_img read more

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Week One Football

first_imgHigh school football kicked off another season last Friday night.  Both Batesville and Oldenburg Academy are off to winning starts.  For the second year Twisters, it is the second win for this young program and a great way to start their second season.  All of the EIAC teams had their first games as well.  It is too early to say who is going to be the best in 2014.Winning for the EIAC was Batesville, Franklin County, and South Dearborn.  The surprise of the night was South Dearborn winning in overtime over Lawrenceburg.  Former BHS athlete Chris Nobbe’s Knights won their opening game this year after failing to win a game last year.  East Central lost to a tough Campbell County Kentucky team, and Greensburg lost their opener to Shelbyville.The two newest members of the EIAC both lost their openers as well.  Rushville fell to Batesville’s next opponent, Milan, and Connersville lost to Richmond.  From the closeness of a lot of these scores, it appears it will be a few weeks before we know who are the teams to beat in the EIAC.  Tune in next week to see how they are do.last_img read more

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