VSO Radio Auction sets new record of $22,550

first_imgThe Vermont Symphony Orchestra’s 13th annual Radio Auction over the stations of the Radio Vermont Group raised $22,550 to support the VSO’s statewide performances and educational presentations. Over the lifetime of the event, presented by the Central Vermont Friends of the VSO, the Radio Auction has raised $205,474.The March 25th radio auction included more than 100 items donated by individuals and businesses from across Central Vermont and the Champlain Valley, with the biggest prize being an 8-day cruise on the Rhine River in Germany, offered by Milne Travel with support from Merchants Bank. Block sponsors included Sullivan, Powers, & Company; Northfield Savings Bank, Waitsfield & Champlain Valley Telecom; Houseneeds.com; Dubois Construction and Lamberton Electric; Gallagher, Flynn, & Company; and Merchants Bank. Media support was provided by the Barre Times-Argus; Rutland Herald; Stowe Reporter, Valley Reporter, Waterbury Record, and The World. The Radio Auction was carried live on WDEV 550AM, 96.1FM, 96.5FM, and 101.9FM in the Kingdom; WCVT Classic Vermont 101.7FM and 102.5FM; and WLVB 93.9FM.“We are so grateful for all the support from the bidders, item donors, block sponsors, media supporters, volunteers and businesses that provided food for our auction workers,” said VSO Executive Director Alan Jordan. “But we are particularly thankful to the Radio Vermont Group for their annual hosting of this event that has now raised more than $200,000 to help carry on the good work of the VSO across Vermont. Radio Vermont Group VP Eric Michaels, our emcee/host always does an amazing job—5 hours never goes by so quickly!—and all the staff at the stations are such good friends and sports to allow us to take over their place for a night.”In honor of the VSO’s 75th anniversary year, the next Masterworks series concert will showcase the VSO chorus performing Verdi’s Requiem on Saturday, May 1, at the Flynn Center in Burlington. The 2009/2010 season TD Bank Summer Festival Tour will bring a honey of a program, “The Birds and the Bees,” to eight Vermont towns between July 1 and July 11.Source: VSO. 3.29.2010last_img read more

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I saw a snake in the trail on my last hike. I don’t like snakes. Should I be afraid of being bitten? – Betty Westrich, Wilminton, N.C.

first_imgYour fear of snakes puts you in the company of about half the world’s population, Betty. For many, the terror is absolute, all-consuming, and entirely unreasoning. It wells up from some ancient recess of instinct and is the compounded product of millennia of cultural conditioning-after all, the serpent tempted Eve, initiated the Fall, and caused our expulsion from Eden. Ever since, our revenge has borne a hard and bitter fruit: snakes are bad. Snakes must die.Recently, I overheard a co-worker, a few cubicles over, announce that she had found a snake-A SNAKE!-n her garage that morning. Still highly agitated, she assured all within earshot that she had had it killed, of course, by a husband or neighbor, I don’t remember which. But what kind of snake? someone asked. Was it poisonous? Were you in danger? Most snakes are harmless, you know.“I don’t know and I don’t care,” she wailed, repeating her feeble justification over and over. “It was a snake, I hate snakes, it was a snake.”I just don’t get it, this impulse to kill a certain group of animals on sight. What really gets me, though, is the willful refusal to learn a few basic identification tips that can tell you whether a snake is venomous. Yes, there are venomous snakes in our region, and they can pose a danger in certain situations, but the majority of snakes are completely, utterly, harmless to humans.The southeastern United States is a snaky part of the country. There are 39 species in Virginia and the Carolinas alone; in Georgia there are 41. Of these species, just six are venomous. Despite their persecution by humans, snakes are highly successful, adaptable creatures, capable of living in a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. They are both predators and prey, serving as a vital link in the food chain. They eat everything from insects to rabbits; in turn, birds of prey, foxes, coyotes, and even other snakes eat them. Perhaps most important to humans, they consume mice and rats, keeping these populations in check, playing an important role in curbing disease outbreaks and food contamination. I’d wager that a single species of rodent, the Norway rat, has caused humans more misery and woe than all the snakes of the world combined.Still, a venomous snake, when encountered, is best given a wide berth-out of respect, not fear. In the Southeast, we have six species of venomous snakes: three different species of rattlesnake (eastern diamondback, timber/canebrake, and pigmy), copperheads, cottonmouths, and coral snakes. All but the coral snakes are pit vipers, meaning they have small, deep pits between the nostrils and eyes which sense infrared heat waves. They also have elliptical pupils like cats’ eyes, distinctive triangular heads, and prominent fangs. (Generally, non-venomous snakes have small, rounded heads and small but sharp teeth.)The eastern diamondback is the largest and potentially most dangerous venomous snake in North America, reaching a length of 8 feet and weighing up to 15 lbs. These impressive reptiles stay close to their home range, never straying far from favored denning and hiding spots.Cottonmouths, often known as water moccasins, are largely aquatic. They are often confused with other species of large nonvenomous water snakes, though in the Carolinas and Virginia, their range is restricted to the coastal plain. Many harmless aquatic or semi-aquatic snakes are mistakenly killed because people assume they are water moccasins.Copperheads, the most common venomous snake in our area, are not particularly aggressive. Most bites occur when they are handled. They can be active at night, so shoes are advised when going out in the dark.No venomous snake considers humans prey. Think about it: why would a snake waste venom meant for a mouse or rabbit on a creature too big to eat and far more dangerous than itself? I’ll admit that whenever I come upon a snake, whether a common garter snake or a massive rattler, I’ll have a nearly involuntary instant of shock. That initial jolt is always followed by a sense of awe. I check it out. It checks me out. Then we both go about our own business. I just wish more human/snake encounters ended this way.William Cocke is always turning over rocks and rotten logs to see what’s underneath. He can be reached at wtc4q@virginia.edu.last_img read more

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Trail Days Tragedy: Elderly driver injures dozens during annual hiking parade

first_imgAt least 50 people were injured at the Trail Days Festival in Damascus, Va., when a driver described by witnesses as an elderly man drove his car into a group of 1,000 hikers marching in the annual Hikers’ Parade. Witnesses said the car had a handicapped parking sticker and it went more than 100 feet before coming to a stop.Three of the victims were flown by helicopters to regional hospitals. Another 12 to 15 were taken by ambulance. The rest were treated at the scene. No fatalities have been reported yet.At a news conference, Damascus Police Chief Bill Nunley didn’t release the driver’s name or age but said he was participating in the parade. Multiple witnesses described him as an elderly man.Nunley said the man’s 1997 Cadillac was one of the last vehicles in the parade and the driver might have suffered an unspecified medical problem when his car accelerated to about 25 mph and struck the crowd on a two-lane bridge along the town’s main road. The driver was among those taken to hospitals.There were ambulances in the parade ahead of the hikers and paramedics on board immediately responded to the crash.The quick action by police, firefighters, paramedics—and hikers—may have saved lives. A Damascus volunteer firefighter dove into the car to turn off the ignition, and several hikers lifted the car off the ground to free injured people trapped beneath it.A donation fund is being set up to assist the injured, some of whom don’t have medical insurance.last_img read more

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Marine Locates Enemy Fighters

first_imgBy Dialogo August 24, 2011 As a torrent of bullets whizzed past their heads, the Marines in Observation Post 8 quickly dropped to the ground, narrowly avoiding what could have been their deaths. As they lifted themselves off of sandbags covering the bottom of the small bunker, they looked up to see Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Christopher Sharp smiling down at them. “What are you ducking for?” Sharp asked with a chuckle. “They’re not going to hit you. They’re too far away.” Sharp quickly turned around in his seat, a makeshift wooden bench situated toward the front of the bunker, and raised a pair of binoculars to his eyes. The small-arms fire that caused the Marines behind him to fall prone continued to buzz past their heads. The Marines were at the post providing support for Operation Black Sand, a mission designed to destroy a bazaar being used by insurgents to manufacture and distribute improvised explosive devices. Sharp, a native of Mesa, Ariz., is the chief for Supporting Arms Liaison Team Delta, 1st Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, at this combat outpost on the western side of the Helmand River, across from Sangin and on the southern tip of the Musa Qalah district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. With five combat deployments under his belt, Sharp is no stranger to being shot at. As a joint terminal attack controller in a unit that specializes in coordinating close air support for ground forces, Sharp has had his share of close calls. “As a Marine I’m taught that once you take ground, you don’t give it back, so I’m not going to duck down,” Sharp said. “I’m going to try to [locate] where the enemy is so that I can fire back or direct the fire back on to it.”last_img read more

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Long Island Voter Turnout Light on Primary Day

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Voter turnout appeared as slow as experts had predicted with few casting ballots Tuesday in the gubernatorial Democratic primary and a handful of local third-party races across Long Island, according to poll workers.Some registered Democrats in Suffolk County said they cast their votes for Fordham University professor Zephyr Teachout, who joined comedian Randy Credico in challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic line, after becoming disenchanted with the governor. Others noted how much more every vote counts when turnout is so low. Official voter turnout statistics won’t be available until after the polls close at 9 p.m.“I would have normally voted for Andrew Cuomo but today I did not as an expression of protest,” Rob Ingraham, a 62-year-old longtime Northport resident, told the Press. “I didn’t like the fact that he wouldn’t debate…when he comes out and says, ‘Debates don’t serve us…’ This is not the Andrew Cuomo I have come to know and respect.”At the Northport-East Northport School District administration building that served as his polling place, Ingraham was one of 37 voters as of 10 a.m., most of whom were Democrats.Nassau and Suffolk Democratic Party leaders estimated that turnout could be as low as below 10 percent and as high as 15 percent.Kat Lichter of East Islip, where poll workers also described turnout as slow, said she additionally cast her vote for Teachout because of her opposition to Common Core, the controversial new education standards.“Andrew Cuomo is letting us all down,” Lichter said. “He ran as a man for the students, and Common Core has only hurt the students. My main issue is education.”Back in Northport, 65-year-old Art Shea, a registered Conservative, noted the importance of an educated electorate after picking his favorite candidates in local judicial races. After seeing the low turnout, he joked: “My vote probably counts today!Jim Mahoney, a Northport poll worker, said that even with four parties holding primary races—Working Families Party and Independence Party were the other two—it was not unusual for the polls to be a ghost town during the primaries.“Primary tends to be a quiet day,” Mahoney said.last_img read more

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Spring scrub your credit union’s compliance effort

first_imgSpring is officially upon us, so naturally I’ve been doing some “seasonal” cleaning around my house.It’s refreshing to open the windows and let the spring air in. It’s also nice to spend some time after work, or on an otherwise lazy Saturday, doing a deep clean. Beyond the normal picking up, I’ve scrubbed the refrigerator, cleaned out cabinets and dusted – everything.It may also be a good time for some spring cleaning at your credit union.I’m not suggesting you spend your already limited time scrubbing the break room refrigerator. But what about cleaning and organizing your documents, disclosures, folders and files? Has a little winter dust gathered?Using risk as a method for prioritizing, the first thing I would suggest you “dust off” are the forms employees have at their desks. People tend to find little tricks that make their jobs easier. One of those is pre-printing a stack of standard documents so they are at-the-ready when members need them. This isn’t necessarily an issue, as long as all employees are providing members with the most current copies. But, when forms are updated, are your efficient colleagues reprinting that handy stack? This may be a great time to speak with employees to ensure that they are providing only the most current version of documents.The next area I would focus on would be lobby signage. There haven’t been many significant regulatory updates in this particular area, so unless you’ve changed your Funds Availability policy or another process, there’s unlikely to be much updating required. However, it would be a good idea to check the addresses on any signage that lists a regulatory contact. Check that Share Insurance logos are posted in all locations where deposits are accepted and that Patriot Act notices are easily visible to anyone opening an account.Another area of regulatory significance that may benefit from a good scrub is your credit union’s record retention and destruction processes. I’ve found many credit unions do an excellent job of retaining required documentation per regulatory requirements.If there is an opportunity for improvement, it is typically in record destruction. That’s because credit unions are often apprehensive about destroying a document that might prove valuable somewhere down the road. I understand that thought process to a point. However, this may be a good time to ensure the record retention process at your credit union is appropriate on both ends of the spectrum.Now for the biggest spring cleaning job of them all – cleaning and organizing the folders on your computer. If you’ve been saving information that should be in a member’s file, make sure a copy has been saved in the correct location. Delete the duplicate that is taking up space on your hard drive.While you’re at it, I’d suggest organizing your email and deleting unnecessary information. If there is important member information in your inbox, save it in the appropriate file and delete it from your computer. You’ll be surprised how efficient you’ll feel when you can quickly locate important emails by reducing the number of irrelevant or outdated messages. Best of all, you’re helping to keep member information safe and secure, should your computer be damaged or stolen.Completing these tasks doesn’t have to happen in a day. After all, it’s called spring cleaning… and spring constitutes several months on the calendar. But, once you’ve completed them, you’ll feel much more comfortable transitioning into summer. I can’t promise it will feel as good as climbing into bed with clean sheets, but it may make your 8 to 5 a little smoother. 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Godwin Brian D. Godwin serves as Director of Regulatory Compliance for PolicyWorks. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of PolicyWorks compliance consulting and review services to credit union clients, managing … Web: www.policyworksllc.com Detailslast_img read more

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3 tips for tough conversations

first_img continue reading » No one looks forward to having a difficult conversation. As leaders, though, these conversations come with the territory of leading a team or organization. If an employee isn’t meeting expectations, it’s our responsibility to hold them accountable, not only for the success of the company but also for the growth and well-being of the employee.While initiating a difficult conversation seems intimidating, imagine being on the receiving end (and let’s not kid ourselves, we’ve all been there). Leadership expert and author John Eades has three tips to help you prepare for these types of conversations, with the ultimate goal of engaging in direct dialogue.His tips are:Set clear standards. It’s hard to meet expectations if they aren’t clearly outlined from the start. Eades offers three forms of standards – policy, procedure, and merit – through which offices can guide employees to success. When a new employee comes on board, be sure they understand proper office conduct, their responsibilities, rewards for good performance, and potential consequences for poor performance. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Thailand says its avian flu battle is over

first_imgMay 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – After an arduous 10-month battle against the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Thailand has declared itself free of the disease, the Bangkok Post reported today.The country hasn’t identified a human case of H5N1 infection since the death last October of a 14-year-old girl in Sukhothai province, but poultry outbreaks had continued. Yesterday marked the end of a 3-week surveillance period at a farm in Lop Buri, the last place to have reported an H5N1 outbreak, the newspaper said.This is the first time Thailand has been free of avian flu since the disease re-emerged last July, officials told the Post. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will continue to watch for any re-emergence of the virus, said ministry assistant Charal Trinvuthipong. Officials will continue to conduct bi-weekly checks for avian flu.In addition, the ministry has recruited more than 600 temporary workers to watch for avian flu. They will work in nine northern and central provinces where H5N1 kept reappearing: Ang Thong, Lop Buri, Kampheng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, and Uttaradit, the Post reported.Along with the surveillance, officials will seek closed-system poultry-raising methods for small-scale farms, said Sudarat Keyuraphan, agriculture and cooperatives minister.The end of the outbreaks is good news for Thailand’s poultry industry. Chicken exports are expected to reach a target of 300,000 tons this year, Anan Sirimongkolkasem, president of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association, told the Post in a separate story today. That’s nearly a 40% increase over the previous year.Thailand is chiefly shipping cooked products because raw poultry remains banned in major export markets, he said.last_img read more

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Sand, surf and sophistication are the ingredients to perfect penthouse living

first_img1103/2 Creek St is a hot property for summer Ray White Burleigh Waters agent Wayne Bisgrove said it was a hot property for holiday letting.“With summer right around the corner it is a good time to get a head start on buying an investment in Coolangatta,” Mr Bisgrove said. “Our three biggest points of interest are coming from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They are all interested in using it as an investment opportunity. “One of our interested buyers already owns a beachfront a unit in Coolangatta but he is looking to upgrade. The space is a big plus as well as the hinterland views. 1103/2 Creek St, Coolangatta is a perfect place to enjoy summer GET ready for a sizzling start to summer with this stunning beachfront penthouse. Homeowners Dianne and Peteris Kreitalf bought the Coolangatta penthouse in 2008 and have used it as a holiday let.Equipped with its own private pool, rooftop terrace and barbecue it isn’t hard to see why holiday-makers love their penthouse on Creek St. Views of Coolangatta are captured throughout the penthouseMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North3 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa23 hours ago“It is going to auction but it is a property that would be much more affordable compared to a penthouse in Surfers Paradise. It is great opportunity to grab a penthouse without a ridiculous price tag.” Mr Bisgrove said in two weeks he has shown 13 groups of buyers through the property and received positive feedback.White, light and bright spaces capture picture-perfect views of the ocean. The penthouse comes fully furnished but despite the luxurious style Mr Bisgrove said it was the rooftop that was the biggest drawcard for buyers. Coolangatta is known for its beachy vibecenter_img 1103/2 Creek St also comes with a bath to soak your troubles away “We have a lot of new developments taking shape here but it still has that great beachy vibe that you can’t get at Surfers Paradise,” he said. “There is no city feel, it’s just sand and surf.”Mr Bisgrove said the suburb was well known for its perfect waves with the Quiksilver Pro 2018 set for beaches nearby. Jump into the spa or relax on the rooftop terrace “It is a peaceful getaway and you have views from Snapper all the way to the Hinterland,” he said.“A lot of buyers comment that while its nice to have ocean views they are always breathtaken by the mountains.”Mr Bisgrove said the suburb was rapidly growing into a popular holiday destination for southerners.last_img read more

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Pa ‘hacks’ drunken son

first_imgThe boy sustained a hack wound on the neck, the police added.     ILOILO City – A man allegedly hacked his drunken son in Barangay Buga,Igbaras, Iloilo. This prompted Velasco to hack his son using a bolo, police said.  The victim was brought tothe Guimbal District Hospital for medical treatment. Velasco surrendered and wasdetained in the Igbaras municipal police station’s custodial facility./PN According to police investigators, a heated argument ensued between Velascoand his minor son, who was not identified in the report, around 6:45 p.m. onJan. 25.       Tagged suspect was 43-year-old resident Diokno Velasco, a police reportshowed.last_img read more

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