Tropical storm season

first_imgMake sure you have flood insurance to cover your home, crops and business. Flood insurance is available from the government at this Web site: you hear that tropical weather may be coming, get your home prepared. Tie down anything that could be blown away and tape your windows, so they won’t shatter.Make sure you have a safe place to put your animals, whether you are going to stay or evacuate. This applies not only to livestock, but to your pets as well.If you live in a coastal area, know your county’s emergency evacuation plan and what shelter you plan to go to after you evacuate. If you have pets, remember to find a shelter that allows pets.Finally, your whole family needs to have a contact person who lives outside the region being hit. That way, when everyone’s scattered and evacuating, they can check in with this stable person and distribute news about everyone’s whereabouts and condition. By Merritt MelanconUniversity of GeorgiaIn coastal Georgia counties, early June signals the start of tropical weather season and a time of preparation and storm tracking that lasts until the end of the season in late November.But it’s not just the coast that should be preparing.”The whole state is vulnerable to hurricane damage, from the mountains to the piedmont to the coastal plain,” said state climatologist David Stooksbury.Yes, the coast is the most immediately threatened, said Stooksbury, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.But the rest of the state is susceptible to serious wind damage and flooding from tropical weather systems that come up through Georgia’s coast and through the Florida panhandle from the Gulf of Mexico.In fact, the largest cause of loss of life during hurricanes and tropical storms is flooding and driving through flooded roads.Inland flooding of rain-swollen streams can be just as serious as the coastal flooding caused by tidal surges and rain, said Greg Padgett, a Georgia Emergency Management Agency meteorologist.In July 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto dumped 10 to 20 inches of rain in west and central Georgia. The rain overran the Flint, Ocmulgee and Chattahoochee rivers, flooding an area the size of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined.The flood forced the evacuation of more than 40,000 Georgia residents. It closed 1,700 roads, 300 bridges, destroyed 12,000 homes and businesses and took the lives of 30 people.Alberto not only showed the danger inland counties face from tropical weather, Padgett said, it also showed all tropical weather systems can cause problems, not just hurricanes.”Don’t let your guard down,” he said. “Don’t say it’s not a hurricane, so I don’t have to be worried. It’s not the intensity of the storm. It’s the forward speed, as far as flooding is concerned.”Stooksbury said that even a tropical depression can drop devastating amounts of rain on an area and cause wind damage, too.”People should pay attention to any tropical weather storm or depression,” he said. “They should be prepared for tropical weather seasons — not just hurricanes.”Stooksbury offered these tips for preparing your family and home for this year’s tropical weather season.last_img read more

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U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Concerned about China’s Influence in Region

first_imgBy By Eugenia Velásquez ( August 21, 2018 U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes said that China seeks to expand in Central America and the Caribbean by way of countries’ vulnerabilities to “militarize the region.” In the case of El Salvador, the point of access would be China’s investment in La Unión Port, said Manes. “They are trying to find weak spots in the region to make these kinds of arrangements in the region. We are concerned that it is not only an investment in a port, but that they will then want to do something with their military and expand Chinese influence in the region. It is a strategic matter and we all need to keep our eyes open as to what is happening,” she said. Her concern stems from information provided by diplomats contending that China seeks to approach Central American and Caribbean governments offering investments that are “neither clear nor transparent” as a strategy to expand in those countries. In the case of El Salvador, China would likely seek to establish a port of entry, which would be La Unión, due to its current state of neglect. Manes said the information on hand indicates that the Salvadoran and Chinese governments initiated talks to start interventions in the maritime plant of Cutuco Port. “They are in the talking phase, but it’s a significant phase for any country. People should be aware of these talks and the facts and tactics China employs,” Manes said. The United States’ concerns already reached the entrepreneurial and political arena in El Salvador, Manes said. “We are working on it,” she said when asked whether meetings had taken place to warn political parties about China’s intentions toward El Salvador. “It’s important that everyone knows what’s happening and is able to identify the usual tactics China employs. There are good examples you can study to ensure you are doing the best for your people in your country,” the ambassador said. Salvadoran Minister of Economy Luz Estrella Rodríguez confirmed talks had initiated between the Salvadoran and Chinese governments during an interview with Salvadoran Channel 33, in which she confirmed the Asian country was interested in investing in La Unión Port. For Manes, this isn’t about driving foreign investment away from El Salvador, but looking closely at the kind of offer China makes and its commitment to local economic development. “It’s time to be careful about those things; we obviously want to see more investment in El Salvador, but not all investment is the same. What’s best is to improve truly sustainable investment that would benefit the country,” she said. According to Manes, cases of China’s investment interventions in other countries showed that infrastructure projects ultimately stayed at the hands of the Chinese government. “Other countries, such as Sri Lanka, no longer control their ports—another country does. We’ve seen this in other countries; once China obtained the project, they no longer complied,” Manes said.last_img read more

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What’s in your credit union members’ wallets?

first_img 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Has the past month in the global economy brought to mind memories of the financial crisis? Today we tend to ‘sign-post’ things in terms of the great recession. There is news in consumer credit along those lines, according to Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO): The average FICO credit score is now 695 – the highest that average has been in a decade.Credit unions have a unique mission, educating their members in addition to providing them with financial services. That would be in contrast to taking advantage of unsuspecting customers, but I digress. Credit union member education begins something like this – basic money management (or how not to be broke):Pay your bills on time.Pay down that credit card debt.Seriously, do you really need those $200.00 jeans?Everyone has heard it all at this point, but interestingly people have actually began to do these things. For one reason, it’s a lot easier now for consumers to know what is going on with their credit. The Consumer Financial Credit Bureau, for instance has been pushing banks and creditors to give credit scores away for free. American Express has recently made FICO scores available to their card holders.  Could this trend be helping consumers raise their credit scores? Maybe. continue reading »last_img read more

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Talk of the towns: Hampshire, Dorset & south Wiltshire

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Tips to avoid bitter disputes over bond money repayments

first_imgProfessional bond cleaner Gerard Carter at a Bayview Heights home. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTYBOND money quarrels can be hellish experiences for Far North landlords, agents and outgoing tenants.Data from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) shows there have been 614 disputes formally lodged over bond repayments since July 1 in the Cairns region, and 835 across Far North Queensland.There were 1028 bond money disputes lodged in Cairns during the 2015-16 financial year.RTA chief executive Darren Barlow said bond distribution disputes were “not very common”.“Median rent quarterly data for October to December 2016 shows that there were just over 22,000 rental bonds held in the Cairns area at the end of last year,” he said. “Bond disputes are currently tracking at 3.5 per cent of all rental disputes in Cairns for 2016-17. The rate of bond distribution disputes in Cairns is consistent with trends across Queensland.”Apart from cleaning the property thoroughly, Mr Barlow said there were other ways for tenants to give themselves a good chance of receiving a full bond refund. “Some tenancy agreements include special conditions that must be satisfied for a full bond refund. Common examples are carpet cleaning, pest control and flea treatments,” he said.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago“The property manager or owner can specify that these terms be carried out to a particular standard. Any such requirements will be included in the tenancy agreement.“After tenants have removed their furniture, and finished cleaning, they should complete their Exit Condition Report and return it to their property owner or manager on or around handover day. “This report is compared to the Entry Condition Report they complete when they move in, so it is important to lodge both reports on time and in as much detail as possible. “It is also a good idea to take photos at the beginning and end of a tenancy to support their claims.“Finally, tenants should complete a Refund of Rental Bond form and lodge it promptly.” Specialist bond cleaners like Cairns’ Gerard Carter have been busy since before Christmas. “I’m booked out about a week or so in advance … a lot of people stress about not getting their bond back,” he said.“Kitchens and bathrooms can be the hardest things for people to clean, while mould is a common issue, particularly in Queenslanders.”last_img read more

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Tiger Woods

first_imgIt is hard to pick up a newspaper or magazine without seeing some article debating when or if Tiger Woods will ever get back to playing competitive golf.  I am sure there are several factors that have lead to some of his demise.First of all, like many star athletes, his faithfulness to his spouse wavered.  Some of these athletes never seem to be satisfied with one partner.  He obviously does not need the money although his earnings have certainly taken a nose dive.  Another obvious problem is his myriad of injuries which many experts believe were the result of over-training his muscles which he believed he needed in order to maintain his number 1 spot.The one thing that will bring him back is his ego.  He still believes that he can come back on the course and pick up where he left off.  I would imagine that one more failed attempt might bring that ego down to earth by a step or two.  Time will tell.last_img read more

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MBB : Hard to handle: Orange faces tough matchup against West Virginia’s Jones

first_imgOne after another, Syracuse is handed the challenge of defending some of the Big East’s best big men. Following a brutal road trip that saw back-to-back games against Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley and Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, the return to the Carrier Dome doesn’t provide much relief.Enter Kevin Jones.‘He’s probably having as good a year or better than anybody in the league this year,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in the Big East coaches’ teleconference Thursday.And on the heels of a 26-point, 14-rebound effort — albeit it in a losing one against St. John’s earlier in the week — Jones leads a young West Virginia (15-6, 5-3 Big East) team into Syracuse for a 1 p.m. date with the No. 3 Orange (21-1, 8-1 Big East) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. But while Cooley destroyed SU almost single-handedly in South Bend, Ind., power forward Rakeem Christmas upped his game significantly to play brilliantly against UC’s Yancy Gates.Syracuse could be without starting center Fab Melo again Saturday, who remains sidelined with an unresolved academic issue. That means Christmas and fellow low-post player Baye Keita must be strong against arguably the conference’s best big man.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPer Scoop Jardine’s postgame admission, Cooley manhandled every player on the Orange with a superior effort. Jardine said the 6-foot-9, 248-pound Cooley simply wanted it more.Seventeen points, 10 rebounds and an upset of then-No. 1 Syracuse backed that up.‘More heart,’ Jardine said. ‘We’ve got to play with heart like we did in the last three minutes of Saturday’s game (against Notre Dame), when we were trying to come back and win. We would have won that game by 20. Tonight we played with heart, and we got a big win (against Cincinnati).’The progression from Cooley to Gates, though, should help prepare the Orange for Jones on Saturday. While Cooley is all about scrappy play and tenacity underneath the basket, Gates had a more polished offensive game with an ability to step out and make a 15-foot jump shot.The Mountaineers’ Jones has perhaps the best all-around offensive repertoire, including the ability to step out to the 3-point line and knock down a long-range jumper.He’s shooting just under 30 percent on the season from beyond the arc, and he’s made at least two 3s in eight games this year. Jardine, SU’s starting point guard, has just five games with two or more 3s.‘I don’t know how much he’s substantially gotten better at anything. I think he’s gotten better at everything,’ West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said in the teleconference Thursday. ‘I think the main thing is he’s just playing with so much confidence. … I think he’s so much more comfortable being the leader of a young basketball team.’In a game against Connecticut earlier this year, Jones, who leads the Big East in scoring (20.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.6 rebounds per game), made three 3s in the opening half to give the Mountaineers a 33-28 lead. He exploited the matchup against UConn center Andre Drummond, who struggled playing defense so far away from the basket.Against SU’s 2-3 zone, Jones possesses the ability to shoot over Jardine and Brandon Triche out on top courtesy of his 6-foot-8-inch frame. But as Boeheim pointed out after the rebound win against Cincinnati, the adjustments his team made defensively slowed down the Bearcats shooters.And Joseph said a team can’t consistently knock down deep 3s for a full game.‘They were shooting deep, and those shots aren’t going to go in the whole game,’ Joseph said of UC’s start to the game Monday. ‘They had great rhythm, they were excited, they were pumped up. We knew they weren’t going to keep hitting those types of shots.’The missed shots by the Cincinnati guards were compounded by the best defensive game of Rakeem Christmas’ career for the Orange. Though Gates finished with a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds, Christmas was exponentially tougher and stronger than he was against Cooley.He drew praise from Boeheim, a slew of his teammates and assistant coach Gerry McNamara.Without Melo, the strength inside for Syracuse instantly became a question mark. The slender Keita proved he was unable to stop a stronger opponent inside, meaning the onus was dumped on Christmas.The same could be true Saturday against Jones. But if Christmas plays like he did Monday night, the Orange should be all right.Said Triche: ‘He should have a chip on his shoulder every game.’ Published on January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: | @Michael_Cohen13 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

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USC routs Oregon for third consecutive Pac-12 victory

first_imgThe women’s soccer team defeated Oregon 4-0 on the road on Saturday.The team improved to 5-1 in conference play after dismantling the Ducks. The Women of Troy posted their sixth shutout of the season while scoring a season-high four goals.Jamie Fink opened the scoring in the 12th minute, giving the Women of Troy an early lead and setting the tone for the match. The veteran forward found the back of the net for the fourth time this season.Nicole Molen doubled the lead with just minutes remaining in the first half. Scoring on the stroke of halftime can give a team a tremendous boost, which was certainly the case for USC on Saturday.Molen finished off a corner kick for her second goal of the campaign. Her first goal of the season, which she scored against Oregon State, also came from a corner.Molen once again proved what an asset she is on set pieces, as she has a knack for finding pockets of space inside the box.The most dangerous lead in soccer is said to be 2-0, but USC was not about to let this game slip through their hands. The Women of Troy matched their solid first half with an equally impressive performance after the break.The scoreboard stayed at 2-0 for quite some time in the second half, but with 14 minutes remaining Kayla Mills put the game to bed.After scoring off of a set piece in the first half, USC took advantage of another dead ball situation late in the second half. Mills curled a free kick around the wall and past Ducks goalkeeper Lauren Holden.Amanda Rooney added a fourth and final goal with just two minutes remaining, capping off a tremendous road win for USC.Morgan Andrews was a major asset in the middle for the Women of Troy, logging six shots and two assists on the day. Her chemistry with Nicole Molen and Mandy Freeman continues to grow in what has become a dynamic midfield trio.The Women of Troy have just four losses on the season but cannot crack the NSCAA top-25 rankings at the moment. USC’s strength of schedule, however, is off the charts.In fact, the team’s only losses have come in contests against elite opponents Florida State, Duke, North Carolina and Washington.These four losses must be put into context. The Seminoles are the reigning national champs. UNC is the No. 7 team in the country right now and is the most successful women’s soccer program in history. Duke has fallen out of the top-25 but plays in the grueling ACC along with FSU and UNC.Washington is currently ranked the No. 18 team in the land and figures to make a major postseason push.The Women of Troy lost all of those games by just one goal, and the team was on the road for those four matches. This USC team has challenged the best of the best and has looked like a legitimate national title contender in the process.The team now prepares for upcoming home games against Pac-12 South opponents Utah and Colorado.USC is riding a wave of momentum as it enters the business end of the season, with Stanford, Cal and UCLA also on the horizon.last_img read more

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3 things Dino Babers said on the Week 6 ACC teleconference

first_imgSyracuse (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) will travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to take on Wake Forest (4-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) at 7 p.m. at BB&T Field. The Orange is coming off a 50-33 loss against Notre Dame. Meanwhile, after only winning three games in each of the last two years, the Demon Deacons won their first four games this season before losing to North Carolina State last weekend.Here’s what SU head coach Dino Babers had to say on the ACC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.Syracuse is right where it was expected to beSU has seen some highs, like an offense that’s in the top 25 in yards per game, and some lows, like a defense that’s allowing over 500 yards per game. Through it all, sitting at 2-3, Babers admitted that this is what was expected of his team.“Obviously the numbers don’t look good, but when you look at our opponents, the people we’ve played … I think our record is kind of what a lot of people thought our record would be,” Babers said. “We thought we’d be a little bit better than that, but I think we’re right on pace, we have to keep doing what we’re doing.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBabers later went on to refute a claim that his team might be ahead of schedule despite the high numbers the offense has put up.Multiple plans in place to deal with weather conditionsHurricane Matthew, which had a devastating effect on Haiti, is expected to have a significant impact along the southeastern coast of the United States from Thursday, possibly into Sunday, according to The Weather Channel. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have all declared a state of emergency. Forsyth County, which is where Winston-Salem is located, was one of the counties listed as one of the emergency areas.From a football perspective, Babers said that he has to come prepared with two different game plans going in, depending on the conditions.“You’ve gotta prepare for both situations if you’re really gonna give your team a chance,” Babers said. “You’ve got to do the wet ball drills, you’ve gotta prepare for wind, you’ve gotta maybe know if you can get the snap from shotgun or whether you need to go underneath the center.”No timetable for defensive improvementsIn the past, Babers has stressed that he thinks the SU offense running this new system will reach its full potential by the middle of his second year. But with the injuries and inexperience of his defense, he said it’s hard to put a timetable on when that unit will turnaround.“We’re so young. When you’ve got 18-year-old defensive linemen rushing against … guys from Notre Dame that are 6-foot-7, 300-something pounds and about to be drafted in the first three rounds, it’s hard,” Babers said. “It’s going to be hard to estimate exactly when this is going to turn around, especially with all the injuries on the back end.”Babers added that would he look for in a defense is whether or not it could get three-and-outs, whether or not it could create turnovers and points, and whether or not it could be stout in the red zone. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm Contact Tomer: | @tomer_langerlast_img read more

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For Olson, snap was much more than a play

first_imgDaniel Zhu | Daily TrojanWith under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, there wasn’t much left to see for the fans at the Coliseum who sweated through the entirety of USC’s win over Western Michigan on Saturday.Junior safety Marvell Tell III had just scored USC’s seventh touchdown of the game on a pick-six to put the Trojans ahead of Western Michigan 48-31, and fans started heading for the exits.But before freshman placekicker Chase McGrath kicked the final extra point, head coach Clay Helton curiously called a timeout. Then, he yelled at redshirt sophomore long snapper Jake Olson.“Are you ready?” Helton asked. “Let’s get this done.”Fans who wanted to beat the traffic stayed in their seats. Media members who just wanted the game to end perked both ears up. The announcers on the Pac-12 Network started giving background on Olson. His name was introduced over the public-address system to the roar of the crowd. Slowly, the realization of what was about to happen drifted through the Coliseum: A blind man was about to participate in a real, live college football game.Olson took a few practice snaps with redshirt junior placeholder Wyatt Schmidt, and then he was out there. On the field. In a game. Next thing he knew, he was lined up, the whistle had blown and it was “go time.” He didn’t even have time to be nervous.“Wyatt told me to put my hands on the ball and called the cadence right away,” Olson said. “There wasn’t much time to think about anything.”Of course, the snap was perfect. Of course, the kick was good. And in the ensuing hours and days, Olson’s moment of a lifetime has gone viral, making the rounds on social media and earning him airtime on ESPN and an interview with The New York Times.“What a pressure player,” Helton said. “Was that not a perfect snap? I’m very proud of him. He’s put a ton of work in.”To fully understand the gravity of that snap, you need to know what Olson went through to get to that moment. How he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma — a cancer of the retina — at birth, causing him to lose his left eye at 10 months. How the cancer came back eight separate times despite rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and other treatment. How, at age 12, his right eye was removed to prevent the cancer from spreading to the brain, rendering him completely blind.But the die-hard USC fan from Huntington Beach was determined to not just live while blind, but also accomplish his dream: wear the Cardinal and Gold on Saturdays. So he learned how to long-snap, perfecting the position over a summer in high school.“When I first started I couldn’t snap the ball,” Olson told the Daily Trojan in 2015. “I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. It took two or three months of really practicing hard to start seeing some progress.”Remarkably, he progressed enough to earn the starting long snapper position at Orange Lutheran, a football powerhouse in Orange County. And soon, he not only found himself at USC through a scholarship with Swim With Mike, an organization that helps physically challenged athletes attend college, but he also made the football team.He redshirted his first season, spending time on the practice field working on his snaps. And in one practice in fall of 2015, then-head coach Steve Sarkisian told Olson to jump in and snap the ball in a live field goal drill for the first time.“I felt ready,” Olson said. “It was something I did thousands of times. It was not letting the situation get in your head … Just do the same thing you always do.”Perhaps as a precursor to his first snap in a live game, that attempt was also perfect — as if there was ever any doubt. On Saturday, his family was in attendance, and they were probably more nervous than he was.“I didn’t want them to put him in when the game was so close because I didn’t want that pressure for him, even though I’m sure he would’ve done fine,” said Jake’s mother, Cindy, standing outside the USC locker room following the game.She was quick to add that she was speaking for herself and not her son, who does not lack any confidence. A few weeks ago, Olson was with his family in Atlanta across from the College Football Hall of Fame and the city where the National Championship Game will be played next January, for a speaking engagement, and officials offered to give him a tour. But Olson declined.“I’m coming back in January with my team,” Olson said, according to his mother. “That’s when we’re going to do it.”But Olson also has a sense of humility and appreciation for the opportunities he’s received. It took a concerted effort to set up Saturday’s moment, with Helton reaching out to Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester before the game, offering to not rush the Broncos’ first extra point attempt if Lester would tell his players to back off during Olson’s snap. Lester agreed.“I told my guys, ‘This opportunity for Jake is bigger than the game, you know?’” Lester told USA TODAY.Indeed, the moment was bigger than sports. On the scoreboard, it was merely a point — but for Olson, it was a dream come true. On Saturday, he showed that blindness can’t stop him from doing what he loves. From celebrating with his teammates on the field to being interviewed in the press conference room, Olson was treated to the full college football experience — not just as a 12-year-old when he spent a day with former head coach Pete Carroll and the football team before his surgery, but as an actual player on the official USC roster.  “This has come full circle because he got up there being on the team and actually contributing to his team,” Cindy Olson said.We probably haven’t seen the last of Olson yet, as Helton said he would try to work him into more games. Regardless, Olson has already done without eyesight what most of others haven’t done with vision.And on Saturday, instead of reporters peppering redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold with questions in the postgame press conference room, it was Olson who answered question after question — on getting the opportunity to play, on the emotions of walking on the field, on what surprised him and on his life coming full-circle. One-by-one, he gave thought-out, elaborate answers, but it was his last answer — the one in response to coming full-circle — that drew nods from Helton and junior running back Ronald Jones II and sucked the air out of the packed room.  “I just think there’s a beauty in it,” he said. “If you can’t see how God works things out, then I think you’re the blind one.”last_img read more

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