UK: New Commander for HMS Ledbury

first_img September 11, 2013 View post tag: Navy Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today UK: New Commander for HMS Ledbury Authorities View post tag: Ledbury View post tag: News by topic View post tag: New View post tag: HMS View post tag: Defence View post tag: Commander View post tag: Defense UK: New Commander for HMS Ledbury Royal Navy warship HMS Ledbury has a new commanding officer, but links with a West Sussex village live on.Outgoing captain, Lieutenant Commander Justin Hains, has welcomed a childhood friend to take over the helm of the Portsmouth-based minehunter.After two years in charge Lt Cdr Hains has handed over to Lt Cdr Simon Pressdee – an old pal who grew up in the same village of Lavant near Chichester.Lt Cdr Hains, 40, led the crew through a seven-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf and more recently a three-month period in the Mediterranean and Northern Red Sea, providing the UK’s contribution to the NATO high-readiness mine countermeasures group.He said,“I am very proud of what we have achieved together over the last two years as a crew and individually.”Lt Cdr Pressdee, 38, joined the Royal Navy in 1994 and has served in submarines, minehunters and destroyers and experienced the full breadth of RN operations worldwide he said,“Assuming command of HMS Ledbury is a huge privilege for me. I am very much looking forward to working with my crew to fulfil a busy and challenging programme.”HMS Ledbury is currently in Portsmouth undergoing routine maintenance prior to operations and exercises in the Baltic later this year.[mappress]Press Release, September 11, 2013; Image: Royal Navy View post tag: Navallast_img read more

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State Rep. Gail Riecken’s Report From The Statehouse

first_imgState Rep. Gail Riecken’s Report From The StatehouseINDIANAPOLIS — Every legislative session defines itself by the bills it hears.This session, the Indiana House of Representatives has passed out notable bills on transparency and access to public records and efficiency measures.A favorite bill of mine, House Bill 1164, has been killed as per some in the Senate relay to me and it truly protected elected officials from being wrongly accused of fraud by the State Board of Accounts by giving them access to data bases they cannot access now. It got wrapped up in politics and turf battles—pure and simple.House Bill 1019, the body camera bill, is in the Senate and is scheduled for hearing this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. EST. The bill still needs balance. I would like to see the public (other than media) reimbursed for court costs; and I like the senior judge amendment that didn’t get accepted. Here the judge has a hearing and his decision is binding. Now the public access counselor’s opinion is non-binding.The issue of transparency and accountability was the reason I offered the amendment on 2nd reading to House Bill 2015. These particular historic preservation grants are now an equity grant awarded at the time of loan approval.It was presented in the Ways & Means Committee without any guidelines or clawbacks for non-performance. Thanks to support of the Republican majority, that amendment is in the bill. Let’s hope it makes it through the Senate that way.The amendment that is now included requires that these historic preservation grants from the Office of Community & Rural Affairs have an agreement with certain minimum requirements included:a proposed timeline,  the financing plans,  construction improvement plans, and remedies, if the project does not substantially comply with the proposed plans approved by the office.I will continue to update you on the progress of these and other legislative issues of importance to the citizens of Indiana House District 77.Sincerely,Gail Riecken State Representative for District 77FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Greggs scales up waste management

first_imgGreggs has been working with recycling and waste management specialist Biffa in order to cut down the amount of waste it sends to landfill.The bakery retailer, currently has over 1,400 shops and uses Biffa for the majority of its recycling. The two will now be trialling new recycling schemes involving the creation of energy from waste, composting and aerobic digestion, as well as other methods of waste disposal.Group production project manager at Greggs Peter Boughton said the business wishes to operate responsibly and help protect the environment for future generations to enjoy.“Our primary aim is to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill and therefore recycling is paramount,” he said. “We are working with Biffa to experiment on new recycling initiatives as well as building on existing schemes.”Waste that ends up in landfill sites is costly to the environment in terms of the greenhouse gases it produces, as well as causing a burden to business with year-on-year increases in Landfill Tax.Biffa collection director Nick Gregg said: “Britain needs to stop thinking about waste as something to be thrown away. It can be a valuable resource and much of the material disposed of at landfill could be used to create energy.“We’re delighted to be given the chance to work with Greggs to not only help reduce their costs, but to also help Greggs minimise their impact on the environment.”last_img read more

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Press release: Interim results from largest COVID-19 study published

first_imgThe report was commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and carried out by a world-class team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Ipsos MORI.Background informationTop findings for over 80,000 volunteers between 19 and 26 September (9-day period) compared to previous study (24 August to 7 September). Kelly Beaver, Managing Director- Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: 363 out of 84,610 volunteers tested positive with prevalence of 0.55%. It means 55 people per 10,000 are infected, which is an increase on 13 people per 10,000 in the last report. This implies 411,000 people in England have the virus that causes COVID-19 meaning over 1 in 200 people were infected at any one time. Prevalence has increased across all ages. Prevalence was highest in those aged 18-24 at 0.96% meaning 1 in 100 people in this age group are infected. In the 65+ age group prevalence increased 7-fold from 0.04% to 0.29% compared to the last report. Prevalence increased in all regions. Highest prevalence is the North West at 0.86%. London has increased 5 fold from 0.10% to 0.49%. R rate has decreased from 1.7 to 1.1 suggesting some deceleration, but with considerable uncertainty. People of Asian and black ethnicity are twice as likely to have the virus that causes COVID-19 compared to white people 50% of test positive volunteers did not have symptoms at the time of testing or the week before, but this does not mean they did not later develop symptoms. Interim results from the fourth report of the country’s largest study on coronavirus rates of infection have been published today.The study examines levels of infection in the general population in England by testing over 150,000 participants each month over a 2-week period.Over 80,000 volunteers out of 150,000 have been tested so far between 18 and 26 September. Findings show infections increased substantially across the country before the R rate fell to around 1.1, suggesting the growth of infection may be slowing. It is estimated 1 in 200 people in England were infected with the virus, reinforcing the need to remain vigilant.Today’s report shows prevalence of infection increased across all age groups and regions. Infection was highest in those aged 18 to 24 with 1 in 100 people infected, and cases increased seven-fold in those aged over 65. The North West had the highest levels of infection and the number of infections in London increased five-fold.The final report and findings of all 150,000 volunteers tested between 18 September and 5 October will be published next week.The high rate of infection reinforces the need for the public to follow the latest rules. Individuals must only meet socially in groups of up to 6 people in any settings indoors or outdoors, including your home, restaurants and pubs. There are some exemptions including organised sports, weddings and funerals and formal childcare.It is important to continue to keep your distance from others outside your household, download the NHS Test and Trace app and follow advice from NHS Test and Trace if contacted. If you develop symptoms you must self-isolate, along with your household, and get a test. Some areas in England are subject to other local restrictions and it is vital residents follow the rules in place in their area.Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, said: Interim findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show 1 in 200 people were infected but suggest growth of infection may be slowing Figures reinforce the need for everyone to play their part remembering hands, face and space, the rule of 6 and self-isolation for those who risk passing on the viruscenter_img While our latest findings show some early evidence that the growth of new cases may have slowed, suggesting efforts to control the infection are working, the prevalence of infection is the highest that we have recorded to date. This reinforces the need for protective measures to limit the spread of the disease and the public’s adherence to these, which will be vital to minimise further significant illness and loss of life from COVID-19. The continuing support of the public by taking part in the study is something we remain immensely grateful for. The number of participants gives this study the robustness and thoroughness which marks it out as world leading.Ipsos MORI would like to thank everyone who’s volunteered so far and those who will volunteer for further rounds of this study. The pre-print report can be accessed.The report was commissioned by DHSC and carried out by a world-class team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Ipsos MORI.More information on the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) programme.This study falls under pillar 4 of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme, which focuses on mass surveillance in the general population. This is the second study which looks at a representative cross-section of the whole population.last_img read more

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Oliver’s looks to Exeter for second site

first_imgOliver’s of Crediton is looking to expand by opening a second premises, consisting of an on-site bakery and shop, British Baker can reveal.The family-run business, based in Devon, is in talks with Exeter-based The Village Bakery to acquire its Magdalen Road site.David Oliver, managing director at Oliver’s, told British Baker: “We have been looking for an empty shop in Exeter, which is an up-and-coming city. The Village Bakery site is seven miles from our existing sites and we would like to work the two bakeries together.”He added that his sons, James and Brian, who are both company directors, will look to take over the business in four years’ time, when he will look to take a step back.David explained that Oliver’s is performing well and, in the last year, the business has experienced an increase in turnover of between 5% and 6%.Oliver’s launched 10 years ago and sells a range of breads, cakes and wedding cakes.last_img read more

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Carr’s biscuit factory to build ‘cracker packers’ statue

first_imgPladis-owned Carr’s Biscuits will create a statue to commemorate its “cracker packers” [women workers of the factory] over the last generation near to its factory in Carlisle.The bronze sculpture, which is set to cost around £70,000 and will stand at 5ft 4ins, will portray two women working at the famous Caldewgate factory and will be built next to Paddy’s Market car park.Hazel Reeves, a Sussex-based artist, has been commissioned to design the statue, which is due to be unveiled on International Women’s Day next year (8 March 2018).The majority of the funding will come from major retailer Sainsbury’s as part of the development of its Caldewgate superstore, with the McVitie’s parent company, Pladis, also contributing. Hunter Davies, who wrote the book The Biscuit Girls, which tells the lives of women at the factory, will also contribute £5,000 to the cost.Mike Heaney, factory general manager, said the company was proud that its factory was part of the fabric of the community.“This commission reflects and celebrates a key element of Carlisle’s distinctive social and industrial history,” Heaney said.“This public art work will help honour those who have helped shape our town’s history, and we can’t wait for the unveiling next year.”The factory produces 80,000 tonnes of biscuits a year and employs around 600 people.last_img read more

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A look inside: Eliot House

first_imgNamed in honor of Charles William Eliot, president of Harvard from 1869 to 1909, Eliot House was opened in 1931. It was one of the original seven Houses at the College following the plan by Eliot’s successor, Abbot Lawrence Lowell, to “revitalize education and revive egalitarianism at Harvard College.”Under Eliot, the longest-serving president (appointed when he was only 35 years old), Harvard became a worldwide university, and that sweeping nature was clearly visible when the House welcomed students back to campus on Aug. 31.Returning students gathered in the “Great Court” amid Adirondack chairs made in previous years at the Eliot Woodshop, as well as blankets spread on the lush grass. House Masters Doug Melton and Gail O’Keefe greeted the returning students.  A fiery grill belched light smoke as hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers, and grilled corn were cooked and served to residents in line.Milling about, students greeted old friends from last semester and new sophomores with enthusiasm.  Games such as Frisbee broke out, and a few brave souls, including sophomore Kris Liu and junior Leah Reis-Dennis, sang or performed for their housemates.Eliot, whose likeness was cast in bronze and overlooking the get-together, would likely have savored the event, and might have exclaimed, “Floreat domus de Eliot!” — roughly translated from Latin as “May Eliot House flourish.”last_img read more

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Professor receives $4.3 million award from NSF

first_imgProfessor of physics Mitchell Wayne, a member of the High Energy Physics group, received a $4.3 million award from the National Science Foundation to fund work at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, according to a press release.The funding will support the Phase I upgrade of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the laboratory, the press release said.“The basic theme of our research is to try to understand what the fundamental building blocks of the universe are, and how they combine to make up the things that we see,” Michael Hildreth, also a professor of physics and member of the High Energy Physics group, said. “CMS is a specific project at CERN running at the Large Hadron Collider. CMS is a large particle detector that observes proton-proton collisions at the LHC.”The LHC is a circular accelerator with a 16-mile circumference that collides beams of protons at extremely high energies, Wayne said. The CMS detector is an apparatus, made up of several sub-detectors, that precisely measures the particles a high-energy proton collision creates.“Our goal in particle physics is to study the structure of matter and the basic forces that govern how matter behaves, at the most fundamental level,” he said. “One of the ways we do this is by measuring the products of the collisions of particles, like protons, at very high energies.  The higher the energy, the deeper we can probe into the nature of matter. Higher energy also gives us more ability to create and discovery new particles that can only be created in our experiments.”The High Energy Physics group works with graduate students and other scientists from around the world to analyze and manage data collected at CERN, Wayne said. With the grant, they will now become involved with upgrading the CMS detector at CERN.“A significant part of the $4.3 million will be used to purchase new photo-detectors, called Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM) for part of the CMS detector known as the Hadronic Calorimeter, or HCAL,” Wayne said. “These are a new technology that will perform much better than the photo-detectors currently in place at CMS.“The testing and installation of these devices, about 16,000 in total, will take place at CERN. Here at Notre Dame we will be fabricating several hundred optical decoder units, or ODUs.  These use fiber optics to bring signals of light created in the HCAL to the new photo-detectors.”Many American universities and laboratories are working together on the upgrade, Wayne said, but only eight U.S. universities received their funding from the National Science Foundation, after writing a “cooperative agreement” proposal. The eight schools received a total of $11.5 million, but Notre Dame received the largest part of it, at $4.3 million, Wayne said.“[The award] enables Notre Dame to play a leading role in the upgrade project, which is great for the visibility of Notre Dame as a leading research university,” he said. “The work we are doing is really key for a successful upgrade of the CMS experiment, so our efforts are recognized by collaborators from around the world.”The award will also be used to support the salaries of the High Energy Physics group’s engineers and technicians, Wayne said.“The past few years have been a difficult time for research funding in the U.S. … so it is especially gratifying to get this significant award for our research,” he said. “We are very appreciative of the support from the NSF and we are also thankful for all the help provided by Notre Dame’s Office of Research and the College of Science in getting this award.”Tags: CERN, High Energy Physics Group, National Science Foundationlast_img read more

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Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this month

first_img January 1, 2003 Regular News Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this month Governor’s workers’ comp panel to meet this monthcenter_img As it moves to wrap up its business and make recommendations later this month, a special gubernatorial commission on workers’ compensation heard calls for drastic changes in the compensation system and the way cases are heard.At meetings in October, November, and December, the Governor’s Commission on Workers’ Compensation Reform heard from representatives of a insurance coalition seeking reform, and from a commission member who would give doctors more authority to determine injury cause and treatment.The commission was scheduled to meet again in early January before holding a final meeting in Tallahassee on January 21, according to Rafael Gonzalez, past chair of the Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Section who is monitoring the commission’s activities.At the October meeting, representatives of the insurance coalition outlined their goals, Gonzalez said. Tom Koval, vice president of FCCI Insurance Group, said that included eliminating hourly attorneys’ fees for handling claims and maintaining the current statutory contingency fee schedule. Eliminating the hourly fees would create an incentive for plaintiff’s attorneys to settle rather than litigate claims, he said.The coalition also favors creating a special panel to hear appeals from judges of compensation claims, Koval said. Appeals from that appellate panel would go to the district court of appeal with venue jurisdiction in the case. Currently appeals from judges of compensation claims go directly to the First District Court of Appeal.Mary Ann Stiles, another member of the coalition and general counsel for Associated Industries of Florida, said a top goal is to reduce the number of permanent and total disability claims while increasing impairment benefits. That would be accomplished, she said, by striking the provision that grants permanent total disability based on the disability criteria used by the federal Social Security disability program.The November and December meetings, Gonzalez said, focused on a proposal by commission member Jerry Fogel, who is also a consultant to the Department of Insurance. Representatives of the department also spoke, endorsing Fogel’s plan.He proposed a “Fair Care” system, saying more than minor modification is needed to the present program and laws. Fogel said Fair Care, after determining an accident was work-related, would focus on getting prompt care and returning the employee to work. Compensation would be based on actual functional loss rather that impairment ratings, and doctors would have more control over treatment.Under the proposal, Fogel said a uniform statewide treatment criteria would be used, and a three-member doctor panel would review any appeals from the treating doctor’s recommendations.Rulings from that panel could be appealed to judges of compensation claims, although the panel decision would carry the presumption of being right. Judges’ decisions could be appealed to a special workers’ comp appeals panel, similar to the coalition plan, and then to the DCA with venue jurisdiction.Representatives of DOI explained that the medical panel would handle medical issues while a separate administrative panel would review claims involving average weekly wages, penalties, interests, payment of medical bills, and the like.last_img read more

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The battle for new credit union charters

first_img 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Robert McGarvey A blogger and speaker, Robert McGarvey is a longtime journalist who has covered credit unions extensively, notably for Credit Union Times as well as the New York Times and TheStreet, … Web: www.mcgarvey.net Details When there are no startups in an industry, the question has to be raised: is the sector dying?Here’s the worrisome question about the credit union movement: is the comparative lack of new charters a sign that the movement is floundering?  Proof of the difficulty is that since 2008, per NCUA data, just 28 new credit unions were chartered. “That is as close to zero as you can get,” said Paul Stull, CEO of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico.In the years since, eight of the group vanished, either through merger, liquidation, or charter cancellation.The inescapable reality: it isn’t easy to get a new credit union going.But that does not mean it is impossible. It also doesn’t mean people aren’t out there, struggling to launch new credit unions—below we’ll look at two such efforts.First, however, why is it so hard to charter a new credit union? The NCUA’s Federal Credit Union Charter Application Guide is a dense 114 pages. There’s even a 28-page NCUA document on the costs involved in a new charter. Don’t ignore that costs guide. A few years ago, Thad Moore, a longtime Self-Help Credit Union leader and a participant in a number of chartering efforts, told me that in many instances capital is the biggest hurdle. “It’s gotten harder,” Moore told me.NCUA gives the daunting math: “The actual amount necessary [for a charter] will not be able to be fully determined until completion of the pro-forma financial statements and plans for operating independently. However, if you wish to estimate the amount of funding required, we suggest using, at a minimum, the lesser of $300,000 or $100,000 per $1 million in projected assets during the first five years of PFCU’s operation. For example, if you expect the PFCU to grow to $5 million in assets by the end of year five, the organizers should obtain, pre-charter, at least $500,000 in commitments for start-up donated capital.”  It’s not easy to raise that kind of capital for a start up that likely will take years to reach its goal.That’s a big reason why many would-be credit unions—nobody knows exactly how many—wave the white flag of surrender before they get a charter.And yet the intrepid keep trying.Up in Maine, Maine Harvest—a would-be credit union that I first reported on a couple years ago—continues to make steady progress. In mid-March, the Portland Press Herald declared it “a big step closer” to a charter. Maine Harvest, which is intended to serve businesses involved in Maine’s food economy, nonetheless remains $1 million shy of the amount it probably needs to open. But it has now gathered support from many luminaries, including a grand-daughter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.A key driver for this credit union charter attempt is the need for access to capital by Maine’s small business food producers—blueberry farmers, fishermen, and the rest of the local food producers. No established financial players are tripping over themselves to make these loans, but Maine Harvest believes the loans are good business and good for Maine.Scott Budde, slated to become CEO of Maine Harvest when it gets its charter, recently said, “We are still at it but with significant progress.”Note: a key is Maine Harvest fills a real need that nobody else wants to fill. It’s not alone.In north Minneapolis, a different kind of credit union is coming together, with the hope of winning a charter by 2019. That’s where members of a group called Blexit are working to create a black focused credit union in a neighborhood that activist Me’Lea Connelly told KARE TV is a bank desert. The City Pages newspaper reported that this would be MInnesota’s first black union.Connelly told City Pages: “We have communities that are underserved and also taken advantage of by the most predatory businesses in our state. Regular banks don’t give them chances.”Credit unions aimed specifically at low-income communities have access to grant monies earmarked for that purpose, and Connelly has pursued that funding.A campaign on Facebook also has won a strong response, Connelly told City Pages.Bottomline: both Maine Harvest and Blexit are fledgling credit unions driven forward by people who passionately believe in the need and the mission, and they also believe that credit unions are the only real way to provide the resources the target membership needs.But isn’t that exactly how and why the first credit unions took root? Their founders saw a need, and they also saw nobody else wanted to fill it. And so they did.In New Mexico, Stull said: “Many have forgotten why credit unions exist. They exist to help people, not to serve people with the lowest possible risk.”His point: across large chunks of America, a lot of people are very much in need of the kind of financial services a credit union is intended to provide.At least some look to be in line to be served—farmers in Maine and the underbanked in north Minneapolis.And that’s good news for the credit union movement.last_img read more

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