More Than 7,000 Toys, Coats And School Supplies Distributed This Holiday

first_imgJennifer Shirar / DVIDS ALBANY – A statewide holiday toy, coat and school supply drive has collected and distributed more than 7,000 items to help New Yorkers in need this holiday season.New York State officials say collections took place across the state over the past several weeks.Members of the Governor’s administration organized collections across the state and are distributing 7,348 toys, coats and school supplies to communities in need.For the first time, donations were also collected by mail to provide another option to participate amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “During this trying year, New Yorkers have shown up for each other like never before, and I am proud that our annual toy drive tradition continues to bring hope to those who need it the most,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “I am grateful to those who volunteered and donated this year, many of whom face hardships of their own due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the spirit of the holiday season, and this is the spirit of New York.”A number of state agencies and organizations collected new unwrapped toys, coats and school supplies that were provided by businesses and individuals and either mailed in or brought to drop-off locations across the state.Walmart provided a donation of $15,000, which purchased 1,211 toys which are being distributed across the state.Volunteers from the China General Chamber of Commerce also participated in collecting 420 toys for New Yorkers – the third year in a row that the group has participated. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cattle Consuming Cotton

first_img“With the market situation and low calf prices, we’re looking for ways to cut ourproduction costs,” said Robert Stewart, an animal scientist with the University ofGeorgia Extension Service. “It’s good feed for them,” he said. “And it comes in at a time when the pastures aregoing out and before we have winter grazing. So the timing is excellent.” “There are some economic benefits to using these crop residues,” he said. “Theprimary benefit is to lower production costs by using feeds that otherwise may not beavailable.” If a farmer gets 30 days’ grazing (in a harvested cotton field), Stewart said, he mayrealize $20, and maybe as much as $30, savings per cow. “Once the cotton is picked, there is quite a bit of residue out there,” he said. “The lintand cottonseed that’s left, as well as a lot of the grass around the field edges, makepretty good cattle feed for this time of year.” Stewart tells farmers to use common sense when putting cows into cotton fields. Thecows need access to a free-choice mineral block, he said. And to know when they’veeaten all the good leftovers, just put a round bale of hay in the field. Many Georgia cattle farmers are choosing to keep their cows until they will bring moremoney at the market. Keeping cows costs about 50 cents to 70 cents per day for each. “One of the practices we recommend,” he said, “is to take advantage of crop residues.”Cotton fields, in particular, provide low-cost feed for beef cattle. Field residue provides about the same nutrition as low- to medium-quality hay, Stewartsaid. So it does more than just fill their stomachs. It provides enough nutrition for evenpregnant cows expected to calve later this winter. Beef prices are just coming out of an 18-year low, Stewart said. Because of that,farmers must manage costs carefully to keep making a profit. That includes usingalternative feed sources. Stewart tells cattle farmers to make sure the cotton field is fenced to keep cows wherethey belong. The cows also need a good supply of fresh water, he said. One acre of residue provides enough feed for one cow to graze for two to four weeks. Wilcox County farmer Don Wood put his cows into harvested cotton fields around themiddle of December. They aren’t calico cows, and it’s not cotton candy. But many Georgia cattle are grazingcotton fields, quietly munching leftovers. “When they eat up the hay,” he said, “it’s time to move them into another field.”last_img read more

Snake calls

first_imgBy Willie ChanceUniversity of GeorgiaSomeone recently came by my office and brought a harmless mud snake for me to see. I thought I would show the secretaries the snake, too. Big mistake!University of Georgia Cooperative Extension county agents seem to get a lot of snake calls in the late summer and fall. What can be done to prevent snake problems?First, be more watchful this time of year. Snakes usually avoid people. Don’t do things to corner them or put them in a defensive mode. Take care walking in the woods or tall brush. In dry weather, snakes also have to find water. Be careful working in areas around water.Put out the unwelcome mat for snakes. Snakes need food, water and cover to live. Clean up brush and trash piles, mow tall grass and weeds and remove things snakes hide under. Clean up clutter in yards, open garages, on porches and in open storage buildings. Remove shrubs and other things close to the ground. This is especially important around buildings. Snakes like damp, cool and dark spots. Look for and change these sites if you can.Leave snakes alone! Many people are bitten trying to catch or kill a snake. Know your venomous snakes. There are only a few in Georgia. If it isn’t a venomous snake, then you have much less to worry about. For information on how to identify snakes, see the UGA Savannah River Ecology Lab’s Herpetology Web site at you can identify the snake you can determine what it’s eating. This may tell you what attracted it to the area. If possible, do not let pet or bird food sit out. This attracts rodents, which in turn attract snakes. Clean food storage areas regularly and keep food and trash sealed.Insects attract some snakes. Identify the insects that snakes eat and control them. Frogs and lizards are another food sources. Controlling moisture will reduce frogs. With less food sources available, perhaps the snakes will leave.Snake repellents have been shown to be unreliable. Even if they work, they must be reapplied regularly.Some snakes are climbers and will crawl into houses. The shed skins of these snakes are sometimes found in attics. To prevent snakes from entering your home, seal holes around and under the house. Fall is a good time to exclude snakes since they may be looking for warmer temperatures or a place to spend the winter.Despite your efforts, if a venomous snake gets inside your home, seek professional help. The most likely venomous snake I would expect around homes would be the copperhead. This does not rule out finding one of the other venomous snakes near a house. (Moccasins may be found around wet areas.)To remove a nonvenomous snake, pile damp towels or burlap in the area where the snake was seen. This will attract the snake. Then remove the snake and take it far from the house for release. You may also trap a snake on a glue board available at hardware and other stores. Once you catch the snake, take the snake and board far from the home and pour vegetable oil on the snake and trap. The oil should counteract the glue and allow the snake to eventually escape.Several companies remove wildlife for a fee. They can evict wildlife house guests and take measures to prevent them from returning.Evicting unwanted guests requires hard work and perseverance. However it is important for your family’s health and safety. For more information on how to responsibly handle wildlife damage problems, see The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management Web site at read more

The Goods: Yakima Hold Up Bike Carrier Review

first_imgA few months into using the Yakima Hold Up, I am left wondering why everyone is not using this bike rack. Rarely do I feel this confident that a product outshines its competition to the degree that the Hold Up does. The rear mounted bike rack can be installed in less than five minutes. It literally takes longer to read the directions than it does to mount the rack onto a hitch.Once in place, it securely transports two 29er mountain bikes or 700 cc road or cross bikes. Having utilized roof racks in the past, which result in tired arms and frustrations after a long ride, not to mention the ever present danger that you just might drive into the garage forgetting your bikes are up top, I find the Hold Up to be the perfect solution. It also outperforms other rear mounting racks that function by suspending bikes by the top tube. In my experience, that style of bike rack allows the bikes to bang together and can also result in worn out bearings if the wheels are not secured for long trips.Perhaps the best feature of the Hold Up is the mindless simplicity it lends to bike loading, unloading and transport. The rear tray sports a cradle for the back tire with an adjustable security strap. The front wheel of the bike is secured in its tray with a moveable arm that locks in place over the front of the tire. The front arm also has a built-in cable lock to allow you to secure your bikes if you decide to stop by your favorite watering hole or brewery post-ride. An additional feature for SUV’s and minvans is the easy to use built-in pivot system of the rack. Even fully loaded, the rack can be easily lowered to allow you to access the cargo area of a minivan or SUV. The rack can then be raised back up once you are finished loading or unloading your bike accessories. If you are still not convinced that the Hold Up is the best bike rack on the market, did I mention it sports a bottle opener? That’s right, pop a top on a cold one while you watch your poor riding companions struggle to load their bikes on top of their car long after you’ve loaded up your ride on the Hold Up.MSRP $439.00 (Extension for 2 more bikes $329.00); yakima.comlast_img read more

‘Adopt a Senior’ Facebook group brings local high school seniors a new memory

first_img“They’re in a little bit of a dark place and they’re trying to figure out where is the light? Is there light? So this has brought a little bit of light to them,” said Shelly. Arianne De’Angelo and her mother Shelly LoGerfo are giving back to the community with a Facebook group called “Adopt a Senior,” which unites high school seniors with sponsors who can provide an act of kindness. “Like” Nicole Menner on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter. The group was created over the weekend, and already has over 1,400 members. Shelly said “we wanted to make an unforgettable moment they were supposed to have, even more unforgettable, and it blew up,” with Arianne adding the highlight of the group has been seeing it rapidly grow. SHERBURNE (WBNG) — While local seniors deal with the news they won’t be able to return to school to finish out their high school careers, one mother-daughter duo came up with a way to spread some cheer. Arianne said every senior on the page has been adopted at least once, and there has been a ton of positive reaction from parents and seniors in the community. The adoption process is simple. A parent or senior posts their bio in the group, and a sponsor can choose to “adopt” any given senior. The sponsor will then message the senior, and send a gift or sentiment to brighten their day. last_img read more

NZ’s Ardern, ministers take 20% pay cut for six months due to coronavirus impact

first_img“This is where we can take action and that is why we have,” Ardern said in a news conference announcing the decision.”We acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsides, taking a pay cut, and losing their jobs as a result of the global pandemic,” she added.New Zealand on Wednesday recorded 20 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 1,386. It has recorded nine deaths so far.The government is expected to decide next week whether it will extend its current “Level 4″ shutdown. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, ministers in her government and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.New Zealand’s offices, schools and non-essential services have been closed for the last three weeks, and economic activity is at a standstill as the country undertakes one of the strictest lockdowns globally.The government has forecast joblessness to surge because of the global and domestic slowdown. In a speech to New Zealand’s business community earlier in the day, the finance minister said that if the government decided to ease restrictions, the emphasis would be to permit economic activity that is safe.Grant Robertson also said the annual budget, to be announced on May 14, would focus on recovery.”It will include funding for the cost pressures that are necessary part of keeping our country ticking over. But we will devote much of our resources to kick starting this recovery,” Robertson said in his speech streamed to business leaders. center_img Topics :last_img read more

New Estonian pension provider crowdfunding start-up capital

first_imgBy Tuleva’s reckoning, the management company, once established, will be sustainable once 3,000 members join and transfer their existing second pillar savings.The mandatory second pillar currently has close to 685,870 member and €2.7bn of assets.As of 23 August the association was half way past its target, with €1.53m of capital collected since the end of April, and a membership of 1,700 acquired entirely by social media and word-of-mouth.Members pay an up-front fee of €100 and pledge to bring in their second-pillar savings.The first 3,000 members can also make an additional voluntary contribution of between €1,000 and €10,000 to the start-up capital, fully returnable if the fund management company is not established by the end of next July, in return for a higher profit share.According to Pekk, a former chief executive of GA Fund Management who has also worked for PwC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 0.05% of the Tuleva’s AUM will be distributed among the members according to the size of their pension account in Tuleva funds, while the rest of the profit – both from the business as well as investment income of the start-up capital – will be distributed among all members according to their contribution to start-up capital.In addition to the novel ownership structure, Tuleva intends to charge lower management fees, a contentious issue in the Estonian pensions market. According to Pekk, management fees currently average 1.26%, while the total expenses ratio is some 1.5-2%.Tuleva will initially charge a management fee of 0.5%, reducing this when the membership increases.It intends to achieve the lower costs through a fully passive investment strategy – 75% invested in the MSCI All Country World Index and 25% in the Barclay Capital Global Aggregate Index – using mostly BlackRock as its provider.Pekk told IPE that Tuleva hopes to have the necessary documentation ready by September and the finances in place by the end of October, with the pension fund launching next year pending regulatory approval.Estonia’s finance ministry, meanwhile, which itself called for greater competition and fee transparency, is incorporating two of Tuleva’s proposals into forthcoming amendments to financial legislation.The current exit fee for pension fund members switching providers is to fall from 1% of assets to 0.1%, while the minimum share capital will be cut to €1m.Tuleva is not alone in turning to passive investment to cut fees.This week LHV announced that it plans to launch two new passive index funds – a second-pillar fund 75% invested in equities, and a third pillar one fully invested in equities –  each of which will charge a management fee of 0.39%.LHV plans to receive the regulatory go-ahead for its new offerings later this year. Estonia’s shrinking pension fund landscape may soon have a new player, operating on a profit-sharing cooperative model.Tuleva, started up by 22 prominent Estonian financial and business individuals, has been established as a commercial organisation, a collective of members with similar interests, with each member holding one vote, in contrast to the four existing bank-owned market players.“The market for the second pillar fund system is uncompetitive, and returns since its launch in 2002 have been poor,” Tuleva board member Tõnu Pekk told IPE.The association is building up capital to set up a second-pillar pension fund management company, which under current Estonian law needs a minimum capital of €3m, as well as funds to finance costs such as regulatory, legal and depositary expenses.last_img read more

AXA IM: Investors must focus on China’s digital services economy

first_imgMark Tinker, head of Asian equities at AXA Framlington, added that innovative developments were boosted by China’s growing middle class population and rising incomes, as well as by the continuing migration to urban areas where more people were digitally connected.He advised investors to shun state-owned firms “as they represent the old industry”.The same went for indices and exchange-traded funds because they lacked sufficient technology, innovation and growth, Tinker contended. “Only by actively investing will investors benefit from the technological revolution in China,” he said. AXA Framlington only offers actively managed funds.Bryan Collins, head of Asian fixed income at Fidelity International, also saw opportunities in the transition to a consumption-driven services economy which was increasingly focused on the environment.“As a consequence, new chances are created in technology such as renewable energy and air purification,” he said.Collins also emphasised that investments were possible across the entire spectrum of the Chinese capital market, comprising a diversity of bonds in terms of duration, rating and coupon rates as well as dollar and renminbi-denominated government paper.He noted that China’s “onshore bonds” for foreign investors – issued since 2015 – have been added to several indices and that this trend was accelerating.As the onshore market represents a value of $12trn (€10.1trn), the potential was enormous, according to Collins. Investors should refocus on China as a new digital services economy rather than on “old China” and its production-based economy, according to AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM).Speaking at the annual conference of IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro last week in Amsterdam, senior economist Aidan Yao said that the country’s transition to a services-based economy was in full swing and was driven by a fast-growing middle class, as well as innovation and new technology.This trend was confirmed by an annual rise in research and development costs of 12% across the country during the past five years, he said.Although the Chinese government was largely sponsoring these costs, in Yao’s opinion, the reform policy was bearing fruit “as the authorities are increasingly open to the privatisation of companies”.last_img read more

Working long hours ‘raises heart attack risk’

first_img Share 27 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Working more than 11 hours a day rather than the usual 9am to 5pm markedly increases heart disease risk, say UK experts.The magnitude of risk goes up by 67% for people who work long hours, they say in Annals of Internal Medicine.The University College London team base their findings on over 7,000 civil service employees whose health they have been tracking since 1985.They suggest GPs should now be asking their patients about working hours.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimäki said: “Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.“This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease.“It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors.”Hard graftOver the course of the 11-year study, 192 of the participants suffered a heart attack.People who worked 11 hours or more a day were more than half as likely again to have a heart attack than those who worked shorter hours.And adding working hours to well-established heart risk factors, such as high blood pressure, made the researchers’ predictions far more accurate.If GPs were to add this to their usual list of heart questions they might spot 6,000 more of the 125,000 people who suffer heart attacks in the UK each year, the researchers suggest.Studies are now needed to see if getting people to cut back on their working hours will improve their heart health, they add.Professor Stephen Holgate of the Medical Research Council, which part-funded the investigation, said: “This study might make us think twice about the old adage ‘hard work won’t kill you’.“Tackling lifestyles that are detrimental to health is a key area for the MRC, and this research reminds us that it’s not just diet and exercise we need to think about.”Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation said: “These most recent findings raise the possibility that long working hours may increase the risk of a heart attack.“But further studies are required to confirm this association and clarify how it might be used to change our current approach to assessing someone’s risk of developing heart disease and what advice we give on working conditions.”Experts suspect a number of underlying factors may be at play, such as undetected high blood pressure, stress, anxiety or depression, and being a driven, aggressive or irritable personality.Source: BBC Newscenter_img Sharing is caring! Share HealthLifestyle Working long hours ‘raises heart attack risk’ by: – April 5, 2011last_img read more

Elaine Stephenson, 96

first_imgElaine Stephenson, 96, of Elrod passed away at 6:20am, Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the Kings Daughters Hospital in Madison. She was born at Perryville in Decatur County, Tennessee on February 10, 1920 the daughter of John and Dora Brashear Kindle. She was married to Benjamin Stephenson on January 1, 1940 and he preceded her in death on May 13, 2004. Survivors include two sons Larry Stephenson of Elrod and Ronald (Pam) Stephenson of Kent; one daughter Glenda (Robert) Kelly of Scipio; two grandchildren Brianna Stephenson and Brian Kelly. She was also preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Arthur, Riley, and James Kindle. Mrs. Stephenson was a homemaker and had been employed at the Delaney Wood Heel factory in Versailles. She enjoyed tending to her garden and quilting. Elaine was a member of the Washington Baptist Church in Elrod. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 24th at 11am at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with Rev. Brian Dempsey of the Washington Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be in the Eastview Cemetery at Patriot. Visitation will be Monday from 10am until time of services. Memorials may be given to the Washington Baptist Church in care of the funeral home.last_img read more