Sunbelt Expo

first_imgGeorgia will definitely be on the minds of the estimated 90,000 people that will flock to this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo in October.Not only is Georgia the host state for the 37th annual Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, it’s also the 2014 Spotlight State. Georgia’s exhibit, called “Always in Season,” is housed in a newly constructed building donated by the Spotlight State committee. Spotlighting Georgia will provide Expo attendees the chance to see Georgia’s agricultural diversity and discover why it’s the state’s No. 1 industry.“Each year the Sunbelt Ag Expo brings many new and exciting opportunities to our state, and this year is no exception,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “We’re proud that Georgia has been selected as the 2014 Spotlight State and the addition of the new Spotlight State building is certainly something to celebrate.”Members of Georgia’s spotlight state committee — comprised of faculty and staff from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau and the University of Georgia — wanted to leave a lasting legacy by constructing the new building. With funds generated by various agricultural groups around Georgia, a permanent building was constructed to house the Spotlight State exhibit. State seals on the concrete floor recognize the 10 states that make up the Sunbelt Ag Expo. The Spotlight State building will be used every year by future Spotlight States.“We are humbled and very appreciative of the Georgia Spotlight State committee for raising the funds to build a permanent Spotlight State exhibit building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo,” Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock said. “This building will allow Georgia this year, and all future Spotlight States, to exhibit in a building instead of a tent and be better protected from the elements in a much more inviting setting. We also say thanks to all of the donors who have made the dream a reality. The 10 Southeast state seals in the center of the building set the building off and give the 10 participating states the permanent recognition they so richly deserve.”Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall helped break ground on the Spotlight State building in July.“To put the largest industry that controls most of the economy in the state in a tent just didn’t set right with Georgia Farm Bureau,” Duvall said. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that wants to take the lead alongside the (Georgia) Department of Agriculture and all of our other friends at the University of Georgia and others, to make sure the Spotlight State has a home at the Sunbelt Expo from now on. We’re just real proud of that.”Georgia agriculture’s farm gate value totals almost $13 billion annually. Part of Georgia’s Sunbelt exhibit this year will include a mural that spans more than 60 feet and depicts the state’s agricultural diversity. Of the more than 60 commodities Georgia farms, poultry production leads the way with a total of 33 percent of the state’s annual farm gate value. Georgia also specializes in cotton, peanuts and beef production, and leads the country in peanut production.“Georgia has a rich history of agricultural production and we are proud to share that tradition with our neighboring states,” said Joe West, assistant dean on the UGA Tifton Campus. This is the third year Georgia has served as the Spotlight State. It was also recognized in 1985 and 2001.last_img read more

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Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:Wisconsin’s two largest public utilities are making bigger stakes in renewable energy and have pledged far deeper cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases than previous predictions.Madison-based Alliant Energy says it intends to stop burning carbon-intensive coal altogether in its electric power plants by 2050. Alliant and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group recently said they are setting new goals to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.That’s a shift from 2016 pronouncements when the utilities envisioned carbon dioxide reductions of 40% by 2030. (WEC Energy Group, which operates We Energies, says it now expects to reach the 40% goal by about 2023.)The moves to renewables are driven by tumbling prices for wind and solar power at the same time power companies in Wisconsin and nationally are using more natural gas as an alternative to coal.“We’re glad to see that the utilities are recognizing that this is what people want,” said Elizabeth Katt-Reinders of the Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra Club. “But actually it’s very underwhelming. We need to move off coal completely —and sooner.”Still, the actions of the companies are an about-face from a decade ago when Alliant was seeking regulatory approval to build a new coal plant in Wisconsin. The state Public Service Commission in 2008 rejected the plan with one commissioner then calling it the “wrong project at the wrong time.”More: Two Wisconsin utilities are increasing solar and wind power as they dramatically cut coal use to combat climate change Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy planslast_img read more

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Andhra Pradesh state government approves 2,750MW solar+wind+pumped hydro project

first_imgAndhra Pradesh state government approves 2,750MW solar+wind+pumped hydro project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mercom India:The Government of Andhra Pradesh has approved the establishment of an integrated renewable energy project (IREP) at Pinnapuram village in Kurnool district by Greenko Energies Private Limited.As part of the project, Greenko will set up 1,000 MW of solar project, 550 MW of wind project, and 1,200 MW of standalone pumped storage capacity.According to the order, the project should be completed in four years, failing which the entire land would be taken back by the government.The power generated from the wind-solar hybrid and standalone pumped storage will be connected to the power grid substation, and it will be supplied outside the state. The distribution companies (DISCOMs) will have no obligation to purchase the generated power.For the reverse pumping hydro project, a ‘Green Energy Development Charge’ would be levied at the rate of ₹100,000 (~$1,327)/MW of the installed capacity per year for the first 25 years. After that, a charge of ₹200,000 (~$2,654)/MW of the installed capacity per year would be levied. For the solar and wind projects, this charge would amount to ₹100,000 (~$1,327)/MW of the installed capacity per year for 28 years.[Rakesh Ranjan]More: Andhra Pradesh approves Greenko’s 1 GW solar, 550 MW wind, and 1.2 GW pumped storage projectlast_img read more

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‘The Christmas Experience’ draws in hundreds of families

first_img“What an event. It’s truly unique to our area,” said hotel assistant general manager Eddie Bello. The annual holiday extravaganza turned the hotel into a winter wonderland for more than 3,000 families across four nights. Bello told 12 News the hotel prepared more than 200 rooms to accommodate families, but that it’s all worth it to help spread a smile this holiday season. The experience includes rides in a horse-drawn carriage, scavenger hunts, nutcrackers, Christmas decorations, hot cocoa and cookies, breakfast with Santa Claus, and so much more for participants to choose from. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Families and children put on their Christmas pajamas, sweatshirts, Santa hats and more, making their way to the DoubleTree Hotel to celebrate ‘The Christmas Experience.’ Bello emphasized the event not only is beneficial to helping bringing families closer during Christmas, but helps generate close a quarter of a million dollars in revenue for the Binghamton area. “The countless number of hours that go into this event, whether it’s planning or setting up the decorations, once you see the children’s faces makes it all worthwhile,” Bello said. “We’re really delivering a magical moment for families and they’re creating a tradition here that’s worth it all.”last_img read more

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Johnson City Police locate larceny suspect

first_imgLaw enforcement says tips can be made anonymously to the Johnson City Police Department at 607-798-9318. They also say tips can be directly messaged to them on Facebook. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — According to Johnson City Police, the suspect has been located. JAN. 8 UPDATE: JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — The Johnson City Police Department is asking the public for help with its investigation into a larceny. —————- A location where the larceny occurred was not provided as of Tuesday afternoon. PHOTO SOURCE: Johnson City Police Departmentlast_img

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CDC: no plans now to send 1918 virus to other labs

first_img Oct 21 CIDRAP News story on classification of the 1918 virus as a select agenthttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/oct2105agent.html Nov 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no current plans to release the reconstructed version of the virus that caused the 1918 influenza pandemic to other laboratories, the head of the CDC said yesterday, but she did not rule out the possibility. She said the virus currently exists nowhere else than the CDC, which is studying it in the hope of learning more about the biology of influenza and pandemics and helping to develop better vaccines and drugs. An unsigned editorial in Nature this week endorses research on the virus but says that sharing it with other labs would increase the risk of an accidental release. “The 1918 flu virus is hard to contain and is capable of spreading rapidly between people. The researchers who work with the reconstructed virus point out that current flu vaccines and drugs provide good protection from it—but these are in short supply, and the threat of an accidental release is real.” Some critics have said the 1918 virus should never have been recreated because it could cause another pandemic if it escaped, and that releasing it to other labs would compound the risk. At the end of a news conference on flu vaccine supply issues yesterday, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said, “There was an unfortunate report that appeared in a media outlet today that indicated that CDC was distributing its reconstructed 1918 virus to other parts of the country for scientific investigation. I just want to set the record straight on this. CDC has no plans currently to distribute the reconstructed virus anywhere. We’re working on it here in Atlanta. We have collaborations with investigators to come into our campus and work with the virus here.” Transcript of Nov 10 CDC teleconferencehttp://www.cdc.gov/media/transcripts/t051110.htm A report in Nature this week quoted CDC spokesman Von Roebuck as saying that labs that are registered to work with select agents—dangerous pathogens and toxins subject to special handling rules—could request the virus. No labs had made such a request yet, Roebuck told the magazine. The CDC classified the virus as a select agent Oct 20. The editorial suggests working toward an international agreement governing the distribution and handling of potentially dangerous reconstructed viruses. Governments should ask the World Health Organization to look into this possibility, the writer says. See also: The writer notes that other labs could reconstruct the virus themselves by using the published genomic sequence. That removes the risk associated with mailing the virus, but “still leaves the risk of an escape from labs that work with it.” The Nature report says that scientists at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg plan to work with the 1918 virus but will not request it from the CDC. Frank Plummer, the lab’s scientific director, said the lab would obtain constructs containing the virus’s DNA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Using those pieces, the Winnipeg lab will be able to recreate the virus in a few days, Plummer told the magazine. “We have to balance that with our overarching moral and scientific imperatives to make sure that virus is handled with the absolute best possible biocontainment and biosafety procedures,” Gerberding said. “We know we can do that at CDC and we probably will be able to assure that other investigators can do likewise, but until such time as we recognize the scientific merit and the adequacy of the biosafety containment procedures, that virus is not going anywhere and it’s not leaving the CDC without my express approval.” CDC scientists reconstructed the virus after a group at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) succeeded in sequencing its genome. The AFIP group had recovered fragments of the virus from preserved tissue samples from victims of the 1918 pandemic, which made the sequencing possible. The pandemic killed up to 100 million people worldwide. Last month the CDC reported that the reassembled virus was highly lethal to mice and grew explosively in lab cultures of human lung cells. The agency handles the virus under enhanced biosafety level 3 conditions and has said that other labs with the same level of security can work with it. BSL-3 is the second highest of the four biosecurity classifications.last_img read more

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Prudential Indonesia aims to boost number of MDRT-qualified agents

first_imgLife insurance company PT Prudential Life Assurance (Prudential Indonesia) aims to increase the number of its agents who qualify for membership of a global association of life insurance and financial services professionals, amid the persistently low insurance penetration rate in the country.The number of Prudential Indonesia’s agents registered as members of the trade association Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) has grown over the years. Within four years, it more than tripled from 302 agents in 2017 to 1,000 agents in 2020.  MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. With that figure, Prudential Indonesia accounts for around 36 percent of the 2,745 MDRT-registered agents in Indonesia as of July 1, making it one of the 10 countries with most MDRT members. Last year, only 2,459 agents in the country were registered as members of the association.“If we are talking about aspirations, of course, we hope the number does not stay at 1,000. By 2021, we aspire for that number to reach 1,800,” the company’s chief agency officer, Rusli Chan, said during a virtual media briefing on Tuesday. Indonesia’s insurance penetration relative to gross domestic product (GDP) remains low. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia’s, where it was 4.4 percent, and much lower than the average insurance spending in OECD member countries at 8.92 percent of GDP.A recent high-profile case involving state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya added to public distrust of insurance companies. Jiwasraya has been accused of mismanagement and corruption after investing most of its premium revenue from the JS Saving Plan, one of the company’s insurance products, into so-called pump-and-dump stocks. Prudential Indonesia has more than 260,000 agents across the country, a number that is reportedly growing amid the pandemic as people look for alternative sources of income, Prudential Indonesia president director Jens Reisch said. “We actually increased our [agent] recruitment quite significantly. Now, the number of agents is already 285,000,” Reisch noted during the media briefing. Prudential Indonesia runs a host of capacity building programs for its agents to help them qualify for the MDRT title. Rusli explained that the company built an awareness program called Run for MDRT and provided its agents with MDRT mentorship to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between agents. Miliana Marten, MDRT Indonesia country chair, explained that MDRT membership would give agents access to resources as well as a global network with the world’s best financial services professionals. The MDRT has more than 72,000 members from more than 500 companies in 70 countries. “The MDRT is membership-based. To achieve MDRT membership, a high level of commitment is needed to achieve the benchmark of premium collection,” Miliana said during the same event. To be considered for MDRT membership, agents need to collect total premiums worth Rp 453.92 million (US$31,000) within their first year. A step above the MDRT qualification is the Court of the Table (COT) qualification, given to members who collect total premiums of Rp 1.36 billion.The highest qualification, called the Top of the Table (TOT), is given to those who manage to collect Rp 2.72 billion in yearly premiums.Editor’s note: This article has been updated to accommodate a clarification that Prudential did not just start the MDRT program in 2017.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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JDR and Taya Group Team Up in Taiwan

first_imgUK-based JDR Cables, part of the TFKable Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taiwan’s electric wire and land cable manufacturer Taya Group to jointly develop offshore wind supply chain in Taiwan.The two companies will collaborate on localisation opportunities on future renewable energy projects in the area, with a specific focus on offshore wind.In partnership with Taya Group, JDR aims to transfer key technical expertise and utilise Taya Group’s products and services in future project work. As a result of the signing, both companies will discuss areas where localisation can take place and where they can best support each other.Gary Howland, Sales Manager at JDR, said: “We are thrilled to sign the MOU with Taya Group today, and to be involved in one of the most exciting and ambitious emerging markets for renewable energy. Taiwan’s offshore wind industry has a bright future and we are extremely proud to be a part of it. Currently we are the leading subsea cable supplier in Taiwan, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with Taya Group.”The signing ceremony was held on Wednesday, 10 July, at Taya Group’s headquarters in Tainan and the MOU will serve to establish and implement joint efforts to develop the offshore wind supply chain in Taiwan.JDR has so far won two offshore wind contracts in Taiwan. In June 2018, the Hartlepool-headquartered company secured a contract to manufacture and supply inter-array, export and land cables for the 120MW Formosa 1 Phase 2 wind farm.In January 2019, Jan De Nul awarded JDR with a contract to provide subsea power cables and accessories for the 110MW Taiwan Power Company Offshore Wind Farm Phase One.last_img read more

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Easter trading bill defeated comfortably

first_img3 News 28 June 2012The retail workers union is praising Parliament for defeating a bill which would have allowed shops in MP Jacqui Dean’s Waitaki electorate to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The bill went down 70-49 on a conscience vote on Wednesday night. Ms Dean, a Government MP, said towns in her central Otago electorate were suffering because they couldn’t open while nearby Queenstown was exempt. “Lots of people visit Wanaka, Geraldine and other places over Easter and do you know what happens? They all go shopping in Queenstown,” she told parliament. Some MPs who spoke against the bill during the first reading debate said retail staff would be forced to work over Easter.http://www.3news.co.nz/Easter-trading-bill-defeated-comfortably/tabid/1607/articleID/259444/Default.aspxlast_img read more

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Senate OKs bill bringing back GMRC in schools

first_imgMANILA – The Senate approved a measureseeking to institutionalize values education, including Good Manners and RightConduct (GMRC), as a core subject in the K to 12 curriculum. The measure also called for a mothertongue-based multilingual education approach to be adopted in teaching valueseducation to make the subject more accessible and user-friendly to students. SBN 1224 states that values educationclasses would include clear, distinct, specific and concrete character-buildingactivities such as role-playing in the classroom, community immersion activities,teacher-parent collaborative learning activities, school initiated valuesformation activities, simulated activities, and other forms of experientiallearning activities. The DepEd must also establish linkagesand provide the necessary support to strengthen parent-teacher partnerships toenable parents to perform their vital role in the effectiveinstitutionalization of the values formation education./PN Under the measure, values education willbe integrated into their daily learning activities for kindergarten studentsafter GMRC was removed as a regular subject and was integrated with othersubjects, including Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao and Araling Panlipunan under theK to 12 curriculum. “This will allow students to gainreal-life experiences in applying their values to difficult situations, but ina controlled environment where experienced educators will help them process thelessons they learned in a constructive and nurturing way,” Gatchalian said. “The amount of time allotted to valueseducation was inadequate as it did not provide enough time for teachers toengage students in meaningful discussions and exercises on values formation,” saidSenate committee on basic education chair and bill sponsor Sen. SherwinGatchalian. In a 23-0 voting on Monday night, thesenators approved Senate Bill No. 1224, or the Comprehensive Values EducationAct, elementary and high school students in public and private schools would berequired to take a mandatory GMRC subject for an hour daily. The Department of Education (DepEd) willalso conduct an annual review of the institutionalization of comprehensivevalues education in the K to 12 program curriculum to ensure its properimplementation and assess student learning outcomes for the purpose ofdetermining its efficacy.last_img read more

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