Excitement builds around campus as the Saint Mary’s community prepares for the first Notre Dame home game of the season, as the Irish prepare to square off against Purdue on Saturday. For many first-year students, this will be their first experience attending a Notre Dame football game and their first time in the student section. “It will be my first game,” first-year student Mary Margaret Artman said. “All I know is that I’m very excited … I’ve heard a lot of great things from the other students.” Even though she is from Georgia, Artman said she is prepared for game day. “There are actually quite a few people from where I’m from in Georgia who are Saint Mary’s College alumnae,” Artman said. “They gave me some advice on what to expect from the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s connection.” Artman said she is prepared for an exciting game day. “I have jerseys, tattoos, all the decor for the football game,” she said. “I’m going to go all-out. I might look a little ridiculous, but it’s all for team spirit.” Some of the pre-game traditions Notre Dame has to offer are especially exciting to Artman. “One of my roommates’ parents are having a tailgate, so I’m probably going to stop by there,” she said. “Apparently Notre Dame tailgating is the best, so I’m very excited!” Artman is not alone in her enthusiasm on campus. Saint Mary’s senior Megan Lord said she is excited to cheer on the Irish with her friends. “I have six roommates, so I’m sure all of us will go together,” Lord said. “We have a large group in our section … It’s just fun, we all get out, cheer for [the] team … Usually we’ll end up dressing weird.” Lord, who grew up in the area, has a long personal history with Notre Dame football. “My family goes to the games,” Lord said. “I grew up around Notre Dame football. My first game was probably when I was six … The student section is always great; since I’ve been a [first-year] I haven’t missed a game. Everyone’s more into it!”. Football rivalries between Notre Dame and other colleges are something Lord said she understands very well. “Purdue versus Notre Dame is a big game around here,” Lord said. “I expect a great outcome.” In addition to the actual competition, Lord said she enjoys many pregame traditions. “My favorite aspect is the tailgating [and] getting to meet everybody’s family,” she said. After graduation, Lord said she plans to get season tickets and continue attending games, but she said it will be different from sitting in the student section. “The student section is the life of the stadium,” she said.
Month: January 2021
With the election approaching rapidly, undecided voters must hone in on the issues most important to them. For some, that paramount issue might be gay rights. Political science professor Geoffrey Layman said gay issues have played a limited role in this year’s election, despite major developments in gay and lesbian rights recently. “Like all other issues, they have been dwarfed in importance by the economy,” he said. These issues have also been sidelined due to Republican hesitation to broach a topic that would likely benefit the Democrats more than their own party, Layman said. “Public support for same-sex marriage and for gay and lesbian rights more generally has been increasing rapidly,” he said. “These things are very unpopular among the activist base of the GOP, but are much more popular among the undecided voters on whom general election campaigns focus.” Further, Layman said the limited space in the public mind for moral issues has been occupied by topics besides gay rights. “The controversies over President Obama’s health care program and especially the HHS mandate have brought abortion and reproductive issues once again to the forefront,” he said. Layman said the limited focus on gay issues in this election is similar to the 2008 election. Then, as now, the election was dominated by economic crisis. But in the 2004 election, Layman said the issue of gay rights was a crucial topic that was addressed frequently. “Same-sex marriage was more important for the 2004 election because key battleground states – Ohio in particular – had same-sex ballot initiatives and those affected the turnout of supporters and opponents of those initiatives in the presidential election,” Layman said. Although several states had same-sex initiatives on the ballot in 2008, Layman said they did not largely impact the election because they were not battleground states. Despite the increased prevalence of gay issues in today’s culture, Layman said he does not believe they typically have a large impact on an individual’s vote. “To the extent that people consider issues at all, they base their voting decisions far more on economic issues than on cultural and moral issues like gay rights, same-sex marriage and abortion,” he said. He did acknowledge these issues play a large role in determining the votes of certain groups of people. “For example, gay and lesbian voters themselves and the traditionalist Christian voters who are staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and other advances in gay and lesbian rights,” Layman said. Layman said it is difficult to determine for certain whether homosexual citizens tend to ally with a particular party due to the small number of self-identified gay and lesbian voters in national sample surveys. “However, the existing evidence suggests that gay and lesbian voters lean strongly toward the Democratic Party,” he said.
The five-time Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks arrived on campus Thursday for their second straight training camp trip to Compton Family Ice Arena, with public practices on Saturday and Sunday.Tom Nevala, general manager of the Compton Family Ice Arena, said the training camp was first set up last year through discussions with Blackhawk’s manager Stan Bowan, a 1995 Notre Dame alumnus.Observer File Photo “With the facilities we have available to them, the campus environment, they thought it would be a great way to start the season,” Nevala said.The team completed physical testing at the United Center in Chicago Thursday morning before traveling to the University, where Nevala said they will reside at the Morris Inn for the duration of their visit.While at Notre Dame, Nevala said the team will participate in both private and public events.“They are doing some things, but they are private functions on campus,” he said. “They are doing some things in the community as well. I think they’ll go to the Robinson Learning Center, I want to say on Friday afternoon.”Team practice on Friday will be closed to the public, but faculty, staff and students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross are welcome to join the team for an exclusive practice at the Compton Family Ice Arena from 10:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. The training camp itself will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.“Hopefully it’s a chance for everyone [to benefit],” he said. “That’s why we have the Friday event specifically for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, faculty and staff. It’s a great chance to get out and see these guys live in a much smaller venue than the United Center.”Nevala said hosting the team is a special experience that “certainly comes at a great price.” According to the Notre Dame website, the now sold-out general admission tickets for the weekend scrimmages were available for purchase for $10.“I think, more importantly, the 60 guys who come here as part of the Blackhawks enjoy being around the atmosphere that you enjoy every day,” he said. “Maybe a third of an NHL team played hockey in college, most of them [now] have the opportunity to experience the college environment and enjoy kind of being like you guys.”Nevala said the team seems to enjoy the training program set up at Notre Dame.“Before they’ve even started camp this year, they’re already looking forward to returning again next year,” he said.Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, Compton Family Ice Arena, Training Camp
Katherine Robinson Wednesday evening, professor of anthropology Agustín Fuentes delivered the first annual Sorin Scholars Lecture at Hayes-Healy Center. Each year, the Sorin Scholars organization picks a theme to encourage discussion and reflection on an intellectual problem. In light of this year’s theme, inequality, Fuentes discussed the relationship between race and inequality in his lecture “Race, Inequality, and Reality: What We Know and Why It Matters.”Fuentes said one of the biggest problems the United States has had and still has today is the inability to talk effectively about race.“Race and inequality have a particular relationship in our present and in our history,” Fuentes said. “…This is one [issue] that has a very high potential for change in the future. This is not a fixed reality, but it is an important one.“If we don’t understand it, think about it, talk about it, [and] engage with it; it is not going to change. Because right now, it is not sustainable, and it is not right.”Fuentes said in our society, almost everyone believes that Black, White, Latino, Asian, and others are distinct biological entities.“I want to demonstrate what we know from rigorous scientific studies, that races as we use now are not biological entities,” Fuentes said. “We all have 100 percent of the same genes. What varies is that each gene comes in multiple forms – two, 17, 140 – and it’s the variation in the presence of those different forms in a population that is human genetic variation.”Fuentes said that most racial definitions perceived by society, such as gene types, body forms, skin colors and genetic diseases, are not backed by biology.“All of our racial definitions are socially constructed,” he said. “We made them up, and we use them, but they have real effects. Race is not biological, but race is distributed and impacted in unequal ways by the structures – the political, historical and social structures.”Social contexts and the expectations of individuals in a society can have a massive impact on health, he said.“Race is not biological, but it can become biology,” Fuentes said. “Racial inequality creates biological differences in people.”Fuentes stated that we are not in a post-racial society, and that race matters in our society.“So when you are with a cluster of your friends, or your family, or in a classroom – if someone said something that is wrong, that is not true, that is not based on the biological and social historical facts that we have available, it is your response to act,” he said.Tags: agustin fuentes, biological issues with race, racial issues, sorin scholars lecture
The Department of Education at Saint Mary’s College and the Michiana Writers’ Center are teaming up to host a teen writing conference Saturday called Get Inked on Saturday in the Carroll Auditorium of Madeleva Hall.The conference, open to students in grades 8 to 12 and held on the Saint Mary’s campus, will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will feature keynote speaker Tracy Bilen, author of the young adult novel “What She Left Behind.”Kathy Higgs-Coulthard, director of the Michiana Writers’ Center and education professor at Saint Mary’s, said the conference hopes to strengthen teens’ writing skills with engaging workshops and guest speakers.“The Get Inked Teen Writing Conference is designed to provide teen writers with the same types of experiences adult writers get at their writing conferences,” Higgs-Coulthard said. “Our guest author, Tracy Bilen, is a huge draw.”The teens attending the conference will not only get to hear Bilen speak, Higgs-Coulthard said, but will also be able to write with her in small group sessions.Saint Mary’s junior Teresa Guerrero will co-teach some of the workshops.“As an English major and Secondary Education minor, my involvement in the conference is to help teach a brief lesson about the workshops I am helping to conduct and help students with any[thing] they may need,” Guerrero said.According to a list provided upon registration, students can choose from workshops covering a variety of topics including how to find inspiration, write body language, establish effective settings and write compact stories. Beyond traditional story themes, the conference will address additional topics relevant to teens through a college essay workshop.Higgs-Coulthard said the biggest benefit for the attending students will be the opportunity to meet like-minded teens.“The conference is geared toward students in grades 8-12 because those writers are usually functioning at a more sophisticated level of writing — both creatively and analytically — than younger students,” she said. “Those students are often able to adopt new strategies into their writing and consider suggested revisions.”Guerrero said she is excited to work with the students who are willing to devote their Saturdays to writing.“I was motivated to get involved with the conference because of the students who are coming,” she said. “Hopefully I can incorporate some of the ideas presented at the conference into my own teaching one day.”The conference is also going to be helpful for writing teachers, Higgs-Coulthard said.“Area teachers are invited to attend the morning session for free in order to learn more about teaching writing,” she said. “Mary Nicolini, the site director for our area’s National Writing Project, will be on hand to answer questions.”Additionally, most presenters are not just teachers, but writers themselves, Higgs-Coulthard said. This gives the presenters an increased understanding of the struggles the teen writers are facing, she said, which will help make them more able to help the teens.She said this is the second year for what she hopes will become an established annual conference.“The conference exists to celebrate and support teen writers,” Higgs-Coulthard said. “While sporting events showcase athletes and other events like band concerts and theater plays showcase performers, there is nothing else around to showcase the talents of Michiana’s young writers.”The Get Inked registration website advertises an autographed copy of Bilen’s novel, “What She Left Behind,” for each attendee. The $40 registration fee covers a full-day’s attendance and lunch.“Saint Mary’s education students are invited to attend the morning session from 8-11:30 in Carroll Auditorium for free,” Higgs-Coulthard said, but must email her at [email protected] to RSVP.“I hope that students will take away new ways to write,” Guerrero said. “I am still learning … just as these students are.”Tags: Department of Education, Get Inked, Kathy Higgs-Coulthard, Michiana Writer’s Center, Tracy Bilen, Writing Conference
Saint Mary’s hosted an interactive panel Tuesday called LeadHER, featuring Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and her Chief of Staff, Tonya Brothers-Bridge, to discuss topics including fearless leadership and the power of women mentorship. Along with Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge, panelists included president and CEO of Michiana Partnership Regina Emberton, president and CEO for the YWCA North Central Indiana Linda Baechle, senior business major Ambar Varela and senior global studies major Eleanor Jones. The discussion was moderated by associate project director of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) Joan McClendon.“Saint Mary’s College has educating women leaders since our founding in 1844,” College president Carol Ann Mooney said in her welcome. “I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that after attending the WEI leadership event in the spring, Tonya Brothers-Bridge from the Lieutenant Governor’s office realized that Saint Mary’s was the perfect place to return to and talk about women’s leadership.”Both Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge talked about their experiences as women in the professional world and in politics specifically. They both said they do not try to step away from who they are as women but rather work to gain respect as women in male-dominated fields. Ellspermann said she tries to bring in new ways of thinking and problem solving from her female perspective and thinks it is important to bring in other minorities because everyone has something new to offer.Jones posed the question of whether or not fearless leadership exists and what fears Ellspermann and Brothers-Bridge face in their careers in politics. “I think a career life is meant for taking on the fearless opportunities,” Ellspermann said. “It’s taking on a job you’re not sure you can do and realizing that each time you do it, you get confidence for the next position.” Brothers-Bridge said that she does not believe fearlessness exists. “I think if you’re not scared, your goals are not big enough or your dreams aren’t lofty enough,” Brothers-Bridge said. “I don’t try to go through life fearless. I try to go through life taking the appropriate risks and managing those risks.”The women also discussed the power of women mentorship; both attested to its importance in paving the way for future generations of women leaders. “Mentoring to me is having a very personal, sincere, open, honest relationship with someone that you trust,” Brothers-Bridge said. “I love to mentor others. I’ve had some really terrific mentors in my life, and I feel that is a way I can give back. “We take it seriously that we should mentor other people,” Ellspermann said. “We should encourage them, and when they step forward [in leadership roles], we should get behind them. … We need to be active in that role so that our daughters, my four daughters, won’t see politics as ‘that ugly thing.’”Ellspermann said the way for women to advance to leadership position is to not be afraid to ask for it. She said women should not lower expectations or accept lesser pay when they deserve more. “Life is too short,” Ellspermann said. “You need to be doing something where you’re making a difference, where you’re loving to get up everyday, where you’re loving to engage in what you’re doing.“As women, we try to prepare the way so that those who are out there can do whatever they want to. Whether you want to be a stay-at-home mom, or whether you want to be a Ph.D., or whether you want to be the president of a bank or whether you want to start your own business. We want all of those options out there.”Tags: LeadHER
Associate professor emeritus of finance Adam S. Arnold Jr., the first African American faculty member at Notre Dame, died April 14 at the age of 94, the University announced in a press release Monday.According to the press release, Arnold joined the department of finance in 1957 after serving in World War II and spent 30 years as a University faculty member. As well as being the first African American faculty member, he was also the first to receive tenure.Arnold spent much of his youth in Danville, Kentucky, according to the press release. He met his wife, Helen, while attending West Virginia State College. He was drafted into the U.S. Army after graduation and left it at the rank of staff sergeant. Afterwards, he earned his MBA as well as a doctorate in finance at the University of Wisconsin.In a statement in the press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins said Arnold was a groundbreaking faculty member.“After serving in the Army in World War II, Dr. Arnold came to Notre Dame in 1957 and served on our finance faculty for the next 30 years,” Jenkins said in the press release. “He was a pioneer who served Our Lady’s University with distinction. Our prayers and best wishes are with his family.”Arnold received the William P. Sexton Award — which is “given to non-alumni faculty or staff whose lives exemplify the spirit of the University,” according to the press release — in 2003, the press release said.A memorial funeral service will be held for Arnold at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, Virginia, at 11 a.m. on May 5.Tags: professor emeritus dies
Tucked away at the edge of campus on a shady hill lies the modest cradle of Notre Dame — Old College.Old College is the oldest standing building at Notre Dame. Founded by Fr. Edward Sorin, and constructed in 1843, the building is coming up on its 175th anniversary this spring. In the past, Old College housed the Congregation of Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests, including Fr. Sorin himself. According to the Notre Dame archives, in addition to dorms for students and Holy Cross priests and brothers, Old College once held a classroom, a clothing room, a bakery and a dining hall. Molly Chen | The Observer Old College, pictured, hosts a seminarian program that aims to foster community. The building is Notre Dame’s oldest standing structure.There are not many Old Collegians, as even the building itself is small compared to other residence halls on campus.“Physically, we could probably only fit about 18 or 20 [people],” sophomore seminarian Keenan Bross said.But such a small number has fostered a tight-knit community, sophomore seminarian James Mahoney said.“It’s smaller than dorm life, but we’re a family,” he said. “I expected formation and growth, and I have seen that. I expected a life of preparing yourself for religious life, and I really do see that in Old College. That’s how it’s structured in our community life.”Bonding naturally takes place as a result of this arrangement, Bross said.“It really is like a family, which is what we’re preparing for: to live with one another for our whole life … and live in a small, tight-knit community where there’s a lot of love, accountability, taking care of and being aware of one another, nourishing one another and just having fun sometimes,” he said.Seminarian Daniel Simmons, now in his second year at both Notre Dame and Old College, said he fell in love with the program during his senior year of high school.“Having a community of 10 guys like we do as [undergraduates] is really nice because they’re all going through the same things,” he said. With only 10 men in the program, Notre Dame’s Old Collegians are of top merit and are held to high standards. Men who decide to apply to Old College must be accepted into the program separately from Notre Dame or Holy Cross, Bross said. Before they start their undergraduate degrees, Bross said, the men are required to write essays and make two separate visits to Old College: one informal, where prospective seminarians get information about the program and the second formal, consisting of five separate interviews. Bross said this extensive application process ensures Old College will thrive.“They really want to know who you are to make sure that they’re bringing in someone who … is going to fit in with the community here,” he said. “It was a lot, but you aren’t trying to be impressive in the way you are in a college application. Sure, I wrote a 12-page essay about myself, but it was just kind of like, ‘This is me.’ I wasn’t trying to be fancy or elegant.”Once accepted, the life of an undergraduate seminarian is busy with activities such as Mass, morning prayer, holy hour and rosary, Simmons said. “It’s not the typical college experience,” he said. “For the most part, we’re normal college kids, except we have a really busy schedule.”Bross said he finds fulfillment from a tight schedule.“While being very busy, it’s very nourishing,” Bross said. “Everything that’s on our schedule, whether it be Mass or community meals together … it’s all really nourishing. So in a way, yeah, I’m the busiest I’ve ever been … but I love it. It doesn’t feel like work having to do all of the things that we do.”Aside from the focus on community and inclusion within the seminary, Bross said what makes the program at Old College distinctive is that apart from being required to take 30 philosophy credits and 12 theology credits, Old Collegians can major in any of the undergraduate programs Notre Dame or Holy Cross offers. “Something beautiful about Holy Cross is … that we understand the world in such a way that all is gift from God and all is truth, and it’s really good to be learning things like physics, it’s really good to be learning things like French,” Bross said. “These all contribute to our understanding of our creator and are things that can be useful in the future for a practical sense. I might teach physics in the future as well as be a Holy Cross priest or brother.”Simmons, who is majoring in music theory, history and philosophy, said he appreciates having the opportunity to pursue his passions.“I really did not want to study just theology and philosophy,” he said. “I have other interests than that. We can major in whatever we want to, which is rare for an undergraduate seminary. Normally, kids have to do philosophy and theology as undergrads.”Mahoney said he has found the entire program to be enriching, and the community plays a big part in this. “[The community is] a great group of guys around your age under the guidance of some great Holy Cross priests and brothers who want to prepare you for life as a Holy Cross religious, and above all, to help you know where the Lord is calling you,” Mahoney said.As campus continues expanding, the history of Notre Dame still revolves around Old College, Simmons said. “I think a lot of times it’s a little forgotten point of campus,” Simmons said. “The Dome and the Basilica tend to be the focal points, when [Old College] was the cradle of the University.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Congregation of the Holy Cross, old college, Rev. Edward Sorin, the Dome
Holy Cross College will extend online classes for the rest of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, College President Fr. David Tyson said in an email sent out to students Thursday. “Like you, I was hoping and praying that the College community would be able to reassemble for the last part of the semester,” Tyson said in the email. “Unfortunately, we simply cannot do so if we are to exercise proper vigilance and prudent judgment at this time.”Distance learning for Holy Cross will continue until May 1, and final exams are scheduled to take place from May 4-8, according to the email.Tyson said in the email he intends “to do everything in [his] power to make sure that graduation takes place,” though extenuating circumstances regarding the COVID-19 progression may affect these plans. “I again ask your continued good will and patience during these days and in this somewhat unprecedented situation for Holy Cross College, our country, and, indeed, the world,” he said.The campus will remain closed until further notice, and information regarding the move-out process and room-picks for the 2020-2021 academic term will come in the next few weeks, dean of students Andrew Polaniecki said in a follow-up email.Due to the closing of the residence halls, the College plans on prorating room and board expenses, Polaniecki said, but the administration is still working out the details.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, fr david tyson, Holy Cross College
University President Fr. John Jenkins wrote a letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the State Department to expedite the process for international students to obtain student visas. In the letter, Jenkins noted he and University personnel had determined it would be safe to reopen campus to students in the fall. However, he said Notre Dame international students are facing more difficulties in regard to the global pandemic as many visa appointments are not scheduled until October or November, months after Notre Dame’s fall semester start date in August. “Approximately 400 international first-year students and graduate students who Notre Dame expected to enroll have been seriously delayed. Some academic departments will lose more than half of their incoming cohort of graduate students if visa appointments are not scheduled in the next few months,” Jenkins said. One of the nation’s leading universities for Fulbright Scholars, Jenkins said Notre Dame would have no scholars in the Fulbright program on campus in the fall if this issue is not resolved.“I ask that you help us in continuing the storied success of public diplomacy that the Fulbright program has come to represent,” he said. Tags: Mike Pompeo, pandemic, State Department, student visas, University President Fr. John Jenkins
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),Why are we not just saying we will run our county the way we feel is right. I vote we tell Cuomo to put it where the sun don’t shine.,If phase 4 is the last and final stage… why isn’t everything open 100%,Where are banks in this? Pixabay imageMAYVILLE — While the Chautauqua County Executive is disappointed gyms and mall are not reopening early in New York’s fourth phase, he vowed to keep pushing to change that.Wendel, State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell issued a joint statement Thursday in which they blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo for what they call arbitrary decision making.“I’ve been advocating for gyms since this started. I feel no reason why gyms should not be open,” County Executive Wendel told WNYNewsNow during an interview Wednesday. “The point that they made is they weren’t going to be open on day one of phase four.”“We want to make sure our voices are heard,” he said. WNY News Now Image.“Obviously I enjoy working out, but when we’re looking at people and you want to get their health motivated, you want to get people moving that have been shut down for three months,” Wendel said, adding “The industry itself lends itself to sanitation and cleanliness and hygiene, so I beg to differ.”Local businesses have been stifled for the last several months, he said.“I’ll be pushing,” he said adding that if people can go to big box stores “There’s no reason you can’t go to a gym.”“It is incredibly disappointing that the Governor is once again making arbitrary, last-minute decisions on New York’s reopening process. After waiting patiently for months and investing great time and resources towards developing reopening plans, deep cleaning their facilities and reconfiguring their spaces to meet strict safety protocols, businesses previously scheduled to open in Phase 4 are once again on hold per guidance issued by the state last night,” the joint statement read.“It is hard to fathom why a cavernous shopping mall cannot open in Phase 4 when similar-sized big box retailers have been allowed to operate from day one. Or why safely managed and capacity-limited gyms and movie theaters present more of a risk than restaurants or nail salons. This latest directive will likely be the last straw for many businesses who have been hanging by a thread but were determined to push through as Phase 4 drew closer.”“These illogical directives are more than an inconvenience for consumers and the public, they are a blow to the livelihoods of thousands of small business owners and their employees and a barrier to our economic recovery. We urge the Governor to rethink this decision and allow these businesses to reopen as planned.”
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),Stop locking people up for victimless crimes, and you won’t have to worry about a budget increase. Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the 2021 County Executive Tentative Budget. Quattrone told members of the Chautauqua County Legislature during a budget review last week that he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen.For years, the Chautauqua County Jail budget has experienced a degree of fiscal stress due to overtime costs and other salary expenditures.Quattrone says, however, that the overtime costs in 2020 has decreased significantly from years past. According to the Tentative Budget, the 2020 amended jail budget is more than $450,000 less than the 2020 adopted budget. He explains that there were multiple reasons for the decrease.“Part of (the lower costs) is because of the lower jail population (because of bail reform),” Quattrone said. “With COVID, people have taken less time off, less call-in time. Last year, we increased the number of full-time staff and reduced the number of part-time staff.”Quattrone says he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen. The Sheriff is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the Tentative Budget.Legislator Terry Niebel asked Quattrone why there hasn’t been a cost-reduction in the jail budget as a whole despite the lower jail population. Quattrone says that the overtime costs, as well as increase in base pay for employees, are the major reasons.The Sheriff acknowledged that he’s been approached before about closing parts of the jail in an effort to reduce staffing costs. He says his office has done that to an extent, adding that he also has to consider various requirements from New York State when considering those moves.Additionally, the Sheriff confirmed during the review that three SRO’s were recently laid off due to some school districts pulling from agreements due to COVID budget concerns. He says that two of the three SRO’s were hired by the Jamestown Police Department.The third SRO, meanwhile, is working on logistics in an effort to obtain employment, according to Quattrone.
Watch out Winter Storm Janus, it’s about to get hot in here. Broadway fave Christopher Sieber will take it all off lead the cast of Broadway Bares dancers in Winter Burlesque. As previously announced, the winter show will get the 24th season of Broadway Bares off to a start with two performances on January 26 at XL Nightclub. The season also includes Broadway Bares: Solo Strips in May and Broadway Bares 24 in June at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Star Files View Comments Joining Sieber and Zarley are dancers Cesar Abreu, Matt Anctil, Kristine Bendul, Patrick Boyd, Barrett Davis, Elizabeth Dugad, Carlos Gonzalez, Benjamin Horen, Anne Otto, Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, Daniel Robinson, Michael Scirrotto, Justin Smith, Billy Steeves, Jena VanElslander, J. Morgan White, Ryan Worsing, Sidney Erik Wright, Heather Lea Bair, Julius C. Carter, Anthony Rooar Decarlis, Rashaan James II and Matthew Rossoff. Directed by Michael Lee Scott, this year’s Winter Burlesque show, entitled Calendar Girl, will follow the dancers in a stirring strip-a-month trip through the calendar. Tony nominee Sieber will open the show, leading the company in an number celebrating his reasons to love each month of the year. The evening’s finale will feature Broadway vet Matt Zarley singing his single “Everybody 4 Somebody.” Afterward, Sieber will direct Bares’ famous “rotation,” where the cast freestyle dances for individual donations. Christopher Sieber
Grease 2, the 1982 movie sequel of Grease, tells the love story of Pink Lady Stephanie Zinone and English transfer student Michael Carrington. The musical follows their road to romance from bowling alley to burger joint, sing-a-long-a-sex education class to talent show, and long (and beautifully lit) romantic motorcycle rides to a slightly incongruous luau ending. View Comments One-night-only was clearly not enough for fans of Grease 2. Cool Rider, the stage adaptation of the cult musical sequel to Grease, is to return to the west end for one-week-only. Ashleigh Gray and Aaron Sidwell will once again sing the roles of Stephanie and Michael, immortalized on screen by Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield. The concert will play at the Duchess Theatre April 15 through 19, with opening night set for April 16. The concert will feature the songs “Who’s That Guy?,” “Score Tonight,” “Cool Rider” (which will be sung precariously atop a step ladder without the aid of wires for safety), “Girl for All Seasons” and the haunting melody of “Rock-a-Hula Luau (Summer Is Coming).” Cool Rider is directed by Guy Unsworth and choreographed by Matt Krzan, with musical direction by Lee Freeman, lighting design by Charlie Morgan Jones and costume design by Christopher Wilmer. Further casting will be announced in due course. At least one member of the Broadway.com team is already booking his flights to London.
Mala Hierba will run July 14 through August 10, with an opening night set for July 24. Liliana has a sparkle few can deny and no one can resist. The trophy wife of a border magnate living in Texas, she’s seemingly impeccable. But beneath that polished exterior lies a fierce determination to survive at any cost. When Liliana’s true desires break the surface, she’ll have to decide between the value of obligation versus the price of freedom. American Hero is a supersized dark comedy about life, liberty and the pursuit of sandwiches. The show will run May 13 through June 8, with an opening night set for May 22. At a toasted subs franchise in the local mall, three up and coming “sandwich artists”—a teenager, a single mom, and a downsized refugee from corporate banking—are perfecting the mustard to cheese ratio according to the company manual. But when their shot at the American dream is interrupted by a series of strange events, they become unlikely allies in a post-recession world. View Comments Two new American plays are set to have their New York premieres as part of Second Stage Theatre’s twelfth annual Uptown Series this summer. First up will be Bess Wohl’s American Hero, directed by Leigh Silverman. This will be followed by Mala Hierba, penned by Tanya Saracho (HBO’s Looking and Girls) and directed by Jerry Ruiz. Both productions will be run at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.
View Comments Oscar, Olivier and Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes will be honored at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2014 Spring Gala, In Here, Life Is Beautiful. The event, where Mendes will be presented with the Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre, is set for March 10 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Mendes’ association with Roundabout began by directing the Tony Award-winning Cabaret in 1998, and he is currently working on the Broadway revival starring Cumming and Michelle Williams. Mendes’ other multiple stage credits include Oliver!, Company, Gypsy and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has helmed films including American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Skyfall. The evening will feature an all-star tribute to Mendes including performances by Ethan Hawke, Bernadette Peters, Marc Shaiman, Alan Cumming, Brian d’Arcy James and Aaron Krohn. Appearances will also be made by Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Bates, Dylan Baker, Richard Easton and more.
Knight is making her West End debut in The Bodyguard. Known as the Queen of British Soul, she has sold over a million albums in the U.K., scoring several top 10 hits and four gold certified albums. Knight has released six studio albums to date and her hit singles will include “Greatest Day,” “Get Up!” and “Come as You Are.” She appeared on BBC One’s Just the Two of Us and performed at London’s 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. The Tony-winning musical Memphis is heading to London’s West End, with Beverley Knight headlining the production. According to the Daily Mail, Memphis will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October. Knight is currently starring in The Bodyguard at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre and will depart the tuner on May 31; the show will remain at the venue until August, when it makes way for the stage adaptation of Made In Daghenam. Memphis takes place in the segregated ’50s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. The show won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. View Comments
The curtain is coming down on Kirstie Alley’s (televised) Broadway career. According to The Hollywood Reporter, her TV Land series Kirstie has been canceled after one season. The show, which featured Alley as a high-maintenance Broadway star, concluded its 12-episode season in February, after which time creator and showrunner Marco Pennette left the project. During the show’s first (and only) season, guest stars included Kristin Chenoweth, Cloris Leachman, Jason Alexander, Kathy Griffin, John Travolta and George Wendt. The series followed Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway diva whose life is flipped upside down when the grown son she gave up for adoption (Broadway alum Eric Petersen) tries to enter her life after the death of his adoptive mother. Additional cast members included Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards. View Comments
Related Shows Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. GOT’s Alfie Allen Set for Jesse Eisenberg’s The SpoilsThis is some lineup! Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Katie Brayben (Beautiful, King Charles III) and Annapurna Sriram (Billions) will join the previously announced Jesse Eisenberg and Kunal Nayyar in the European premiere of The Spoils. Directed by Scott Elliott, the off-Broadway hit, penned by Eisenberg himself, will play a limited engagement May 27 through August 13. Opening night for the millennial comedy is set for June 2 at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios.A Better Place Pushes Back Start DateOff-Broadway’s A Better Place will now begin performances on May 5; it had previously been set to start on May 4, but the performance has been canceled owing to the need for additional technical rehearsals. Directed by Evan Bergman and starring Edward James Hyland, the show will officially open on May 15 at the Duke On 42nd Street. Broadway.com customers with tickets to the cancelld performance will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges.Chita Rivera Schedules Encore Shows at the Café CarlyleCouldn’t make the dates work in getting to see Chita Rivera’s turn at the Café Carlyle? Well fear not, the Broadway legend has announced four encore performances at the New York hotspot, May 18 through May 21. Rivera will be joined by music director Michael Croiter (percussion and guitar), associate music director Michael Patrick Walker (piano), Jim Donica (bass) and Dan Willis (reeds). And just because you deserve an extra treat on this Tony Tuesday, here’s the two-time Tony winner’s classic performance of “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin'” on The Judy Garland Show. You’re welcome. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 11, 2016 A Better Place Alfie Allen(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Reed Birney View Comments Jayne Houdyshell Arian Moayed, Joe Mantello, Stephen Karam, Cassie Beck, Sarah Steele, Jayne Houdyshell & Reed Birney(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Star Files With six Tony Award nominations, The Humans’ cast and creative team have much to celebrate. The stars, scribe Stephen Karam and director Joe Montello recently assembled at Sardi’s Restaurant as Tony nominees Jayne Houdyshell and Reed Birney were honored with caricatures. The Theater District institution’s owner Max Klimavicius presented the pair with their portraits. Houdyshell’s Broadway credits include Fish in the Dark, Romeo and Juliet, Dead Accounts, Follies, The Importance of Being Earnest, Bye Bye Birdie, Well and Wicked while Birney’s include Casa Valentina, Picnic and Gemini. Congrats to these stage regulars, and be sure to catch Karam’s hilarious and heartfelt play at the Helen Hayes Theatre!
P.S. Tony nominee Josh Gad will be joining Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench and more in Kenneth Branagh’s film remake of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gad is set to play the slightly alcoholic, nervous assistant to Depp’s character.P.P.S. The 28th Annual Gypsy of the Year competition will take place on December 5 and December 6 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the event celebrates ensemble members. Sophie Okonedo(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Sophie Okonedo to Star Opposite Damian Lewis in The GoatSophie Okonedo will join the previously announced Damian Lewis in a new production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End. She won a Tony for A Raisin in the Sun and garnered a Tony nod for The Crucible earlier this year; Okonedo also received an Oscar nomination for Hotel Rwanda. Directed by Ian Rickson, the show is scheduled to play a strictly limited 12-week season at London’s prestigious Theatre Royal Haymarket from March 24, 2017 through June 24.Sell/Buy/Date Extends Off-BroadwaySell/Buy/Date, the new play written and performed by Tony winner Sarah Jones, has extended by a week off-Broadway through November 20. Directed by Carolyn Cantor, the limited engagement, an exuberant new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry, is playing at New York City Center’s The Studio at Stage II.Daveed Diggs & More Set for The 24 Hour PlaysTony winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Justin Bartha (The Hangover), Jason Biggs (Orange is the New Black), Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation), Raúl Castillo (Looking), Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom), Tracie Thoms (Falsettos), Jenna Ushkowitz (Waitress) and so many more have boarded this year’s The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. The event, which brings together talent that writes, directs and perform six original plays within 24 hours, is slated to take place at the American Airlines Theater on November 14.Fox’s Rocky Horror’s Ratings InPreliminary ratings are in for Fox’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show and they’re down on the 12.2 million viewers that Grease: Live picked up for the network. The remake garnered 4.9 million total viewers, landing in fourth place compared to other stations, although it moved up to second in the all-important 18-49 demographic. The Wrap reports that CBS won the night with its football coverage.Watch Heidi Blickenstaff in Freaky FridayCheck out below a sneak peek video of Broadway favorite Heidi Blickenstaff singing “After All of This and Everything” from the second act of Disney’s Freaky Friday. Penned by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Signature Theatre’s world premiere production is running through November 20 in Arlington, VA. View Comments
Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017 In the corporate world, employees leaving a job are often asked to sit through an exit interview with HR about their time at the company. That concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, but we love checking in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Danielle Brooks received a Tony nomination for her delightfully boisterous Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple. Brooks will leave the Tony-winning revival at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on November 13. In her Broadway.com Exit Interview, Brooks shares why she’s leaving, what she’ll miss and how the role has changed her.How did you feel when you first got this job?I was super elated. I couldn’t believe it. When my manager told me they had offered me the job, I kept saying “Are you serious? No, are you serious?!”How do you feel now that you’re leaving?I feel ready. I’m going to miss working with my castmates and John Doyle. I feel like I have gained so much from this experience as an actress and as a person and have given a lot of myself every night onstage in service to those who come to see our play. Now, it’s time for the refueling of my mind, body and spirit.What are three words you would use to describe your experience?Spiritual. Taxing. Earned.What was the easiest thing about this job?I don’t think there was anything easy about this job. I can’t think of anything.What was the hardest thing?Every night it’s been something different. Sometimes it’s difficult to release the character at the end of the night; sometimes I’m vocally tired and I have to push through. Other times, I’m tired of laughing and all I want to do is cry, and others I’m tired of crying and all I want to do is laugh.What was the highlight of your time at this job?Getting to perform for my family. Having both my parents watch their first born live their dream was a highlight. And also my baby brother getting to see his big sister in his first Broadway show. That I will forever cherish.What skills do you think are required for future job applicants?Number one: she has to be honest. Don’t come in not being authentic. She has to have a sense of humor, an old soul, backbone, grit and a lot of heart.What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?For anyone ever tackling the role of Sofia, you have to come from an honest place. Don’t ever play for laughs and don’t allow the character to ever have pity on herself. She represents strength and perseverance. She’s the strongest bird in the pack that looses her wings, so it’s even more challenging for her to gain her strength back.How do you think you’ve grown?After doing this play over 400 times, I am finally convinced that I am and have always been capable of playing Sofia. What people might not know is that the casting director asked to see me; I didn’t ask to be seen. I had so many doubts and fears coming into this project that I had masked from the hardcore desire to play this part. Some days it took everything in me to step on that stage; I had so much anxiety the first few months of the show, but then something happened in my spirit. Maybe it was the audience, maybe it was the words of the play, but I realized my purpose is greater than my fears. So from then on, I was ready to go out there and share myself without any hesitation.Why are you leaving?I’m leaving because it’s time. I’ve stretched myself and grown as much as I could in this play. It’s time to learn new lessons from another character. I’ll be back to engulf in the bliss of the Great White Way again. Danielle Brooks(Photo: Matthew Murphy & Bruce Glikas) The Color Purple View Comments
Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses will now close on Broadway on January 8, 2017; the Josie Rourke-helmed production had been scheduled to end its limited engagement on January 22. Headlined by Tony winners Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber, the show began performances at the Booth Theatre on October 8 and opened officially on October 20.The dark comedy, based on the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, followers lovers-turned-rivals La Marquise de Merteuil (McTeer) and Le Vicomte de Valmont (Schreiber) as they challenge each other to games of reputation-ruining seduction. Among their targets is the young convent girl Cécile, whose love for her music teacher is exploited to thwart her engagement.The cast also features Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Madame de Tourvel, Raffi Barsoumian as Le Chevalier Danceny, Ora Jones as Madame de Volanges, Elena Kampouris as Cécile Volanges, Katrina Cunningham as Émilie, Josh Salt as Azolan, Joy Franz as Victoire, David Patterson as Major-domo, Laura Sudduth as Julie and Mary Beth Peil as Madame de Rosemonde.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. Les Liaisons Dangereuses Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017 Janet McTeer & Liev Schreiber in ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses'(Photo: Johan Persson)
It’s not easy to fool a pecan tree. And if pecan lovers will be equally hard tomislead, Georgia growers could be headed for a big year.”We didn’t have any cold damage at all,” said Tom Crocker, a horticulturistwith the University of Georgia Extension Service.Late-winter freezes almost never hurt pecan trees. That’s because they’re so slow toact when the weather warms.”The old adage is that when the pecan trees start budding out, spring is here forsure,” Crocker said.That slow response to warm days serves the trees well. “The last year we sufferedreal cold damage was 1955,” he said.So unlike the state’s peaches, which the late freezes hit hard, Georgia pecans are offto a strong start. “We’re looking to have a big year,” Crocker said.A big year for Georgia pecans is truly a big year. Trees here produce more pecans thanin any other state — about a third of the nation’s total.That leaves the state’s growers to tend to their trees and hope the people who buytheir crop aren’t fooled by a few detractors.The new food labels’ focus on fat has led some people to pan pecans. But these nuts arehealthy.Pecans may actually help lower your risk of heart disease, said Holly Alley, a food,nutrition and health specialist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.”It’s true that pecans are high-calorie foods,” Alley said. “And theyget nearly all of their calories from fats. But pecans are low in saturated fats and highin monounsaturated fats.”It’s the mono fat that may make pecans a good-for-your-heart food.”Monounsaturated fats may have a useful role in the dietary prevention of heartdisease,” Alley said.She cited studies in which people who ate nuts one to four times a week hadthree-fourths the heart-attack risk of people who almost never ate them. People who atethem five or more times a week had half the risk.The mono fats may help reduce high blood triglycerides, a risk factor for heartdisease.People with diabetes often have high triglycerides, Alley said. For them, the mono fatsin pecans can be helpful.A one-ounce serving of pecans, she said, contains 190 calories. Of 19 grams of fat, 12are monounsaturated. Less than two are saturated. Five are polyunsaturated.One cup of pecans is about 3.5 ounces. Five pounds of unshelled pecans yield aboutthree pounds shelled. Each shelled pound is about 4.5 cups.”Pecans are fairly high in dietary fiber, too: 1.8 grams per ounce,” Alleysaid. “That may be another reason people who eat them have lower risk of heartdisease. We’re not really sure why the risk is lower.”The best way to put pecans in your diet, she said, is to replace foods high in otherfats.”Pecans can be more satisfying than low-fat foods,” she said. “Andthey’re better for you than foods high in saturated fats.”
Can’t use it, can’t lose it. That’s the dilemma farmers have faced for years withcanceled chemicals and empty pesticide containers.But two programs run by the University of Georgia Extension Service and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA) offer alegal, low-cost option that helps farmers protect the environment.”The Pesticide Container Recycling and Georgia Clean Day programs help farmers whoreally want to do the right thing,” said Paul Guillebeau, an Extension Serviceentomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.”They know it’s best to safely dispose of containers and pesticides,” hesaid. “But they haven’t always had a good way to do that.”Hundreds of tons of canceled chemicals and empty pesticide jugs sit in or behind barns,shelters and outbuildings on farms across the state. Canceled pesticides were once-legalproducts that have become illegal because of Environmental Protection Agency regulationsor voluntary action by the manufacturer.Farmers must get rid of them carefully to keep from contaminating groundwater or soil.Guillebeau works with Jarrell Jarrett, aDOA special projects coordinator. They arrange to safely dispose of high-densitypolyethylene jugs and farm chemicals all around the state.Jarrett said the jugs are fairly easy to take care of.”They have to be rinsed properly by the farmer, collected, chipped and shipped toa facility in Texas,” he said. “There, they’re melted and recast into plasticgoods like pallets and fence posts.”That’s an aspect Guillebeau likes best about the program. “The products arereused,” he said, “but also end up saving wood by replacing it in products thatare otherwise made from trees.”Farmers have two legal ways to get rid of pesticide jugs: recycling or landfills.”But they take up so much space in landfills,” Jarrett said. “And manylandfills won’t take them because of pesticide residue concerns.”In 1997, Georgia farmers recycled 200,000 pounds of containers, or more than 260,0002.5-gallon jugs.Safely disposing of the canceled pesticides takes a little more effort. Georgia CleanDay began in 1991 to help farmers get old chemicals to a safe disposal site.Jarrett works with Guillebeau and county extension agents to plan collection days. Theagents arrange a place in the county and advertise the Georgia Clean Day.Farmers must make reservations. They fill out a form telling the kind and amount of thechemical and the condition of its container.The agents tally the amounts and send it to Jarrett, without names. “This programis anonymous,” he said. “On the collection day, you don’t even have to get outof the truck.”The waste pesticides are collected, sorted, stored and shipped to a contractedhazardous waste disposal company.Guillebeau said the products are usually incinerated. The company burns them at veryhigh temperatures. It pipes the smoke and fumes through air scrubbers to remove any toxinsbefore they reach the atmosphere.Both programs are free to farmers. The DOA, Extension Service and United Ag Productsteam up to fund the pesticide and container collection and disposal.In 1998, for the first time, the Georgia legislature funded the Clean Day. Theyallocated $240,000 to expand the program to more sites. “That funding will allow usto safely dispose of 162,000 pounds of chemicals,” Guillebeau said.The programs are for farm chemicals only. But Guillebeau and Jarrett hope to expandthem to include other toxic products such as household pesticides. The main barrier ismoney. “We simply don’t have the funds right now to cover it,” Jarrett said.Want to know more about safely getting rid of such chemicals? Call your countyextension office. Ask for the “Guide to Best Management Practices for HouseholdHazardous Waste.”
By Brooke HatfieldUniversity of GeorgiaOrganic farming is on the rise in the United States, and it could change the way U.S. farmers tend to their soil.”With an organic farm, we have a whole-farm approach,” said Luanne Lohr, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics with the University of Georgia.”You don’t choose one practice and apply it,” she said. “You have to come up with a combination of things you can do that work for your particular farm ecology.”Organic farming is defined as an ecology-conscious system that strives to minimize the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals.For a vegetable crop to be “certified organic,” a state or private certification organization accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture must vouch for it.According to the USDA, sales of organic fruits and vegetables increased from $181 million in 1990 to $2.2 billion in 2000. Sales of organic livestock and milk are also increasing.Lohr said this is due partly to consumer support, citing a 20-percent annual growth in retail sales for each of the past 12 years.Large companies like Pillsbury and Heinz have entered the organic market as well. This not only makes shoppers more aware but puts more organic food into mass-market grocery stores.More information for farmers on converting regular farmland to organic farms and on the regulations on growing organic crops is also available .Health reasonsMany people choose to go organic for health reasons, Lohr said. But the benefits of fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic chemicals could extend beyond the consumer.”One can expect to have better overall farmer health with reduced exposure to chemicals,” Lohr said.Organic farming can help the environment. “(With conventional farming) there are greater water-quality concerns, both for drinking water and for (water used in) recreation,” she said.As organic farming expands its foothold in agriculture, more limits are being placed on chemicals used on all farms.”The Environmental Protection Agency is now reviewing all organophosphate insecticides,” Lohr said. “Many uses are becoming more restrictive, particularly in fruits and vegetables that will be consumed raw.”Starting a farmGetting an organic farm up and running can take more time than starting a regular farm.”Choosing an organic method requires some practice,” Lohr said. “It requires a slow pace to get established. It requires that the farmer to know a lot about his own property and farm ecology. Most farmers know that information, but maybe they aren’t applying it yet.”An organic farming community helps ease the transition.”Organic farmers tend to share information very freely and are more likely to network,” Lohr said. “About 98 percent of organic farmers get information from other farmers about practices to try on their own farms.”Future of organicOrganic farming is growing. “Farmers are looking for alternatives,” Lohr said.This increase may help conventional farmers. “It isn’t necessarily true that only organic farmers benefit from organic methods,” Lohr said.”Aside from some methods that are experimental on farms,” she said, “(about a dozen organic) methods can be applied on a farm that does use chemicals as a way to reduce chemical use.”The Southern Organic Horticultural Workshop will be in Statesboro, Ga., Feb. 21-22. It will include a roundtable discussion and isn’t restricted to organic farmers.The workshop will be followed Feb. 23-24 by the Georgia Organic annual conference, also in Statesboro. For more information, go to www.georgiaorganics.org. For information on late registration, contact George Boyhan at [email protected]
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaOpen the door to any Halloween party, and the basics — costumes and candy — still swirl around the room. But it’s not just kids enjoying the festivities. Increasingly, adults are adding to the dangers.“More and more adults are having Halloween parties,” said Don Bower, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension human development specialist. “More and more adults are hosting or going to these parties. It’s becoming more common.”Parties involving adults have the usual concerns of drinking and driving. Add trick-or-treating children to the mix, and the danger is even greater. “Having kids out walking the streets and adults driving who may not be completely sober is a dangerous mix,” Bower said.With the holiday falling on Monday this year, most adults will plan their parties for the weekend. This will help alleviate the problem, he said.As in any situation, though, people who drink should find a designated driver. And those who drive should watch out for the extra children wandering up and down the roads.Safety on Halloween, however, isn’t just about the adult-children mix on the roads. For parties involving adults or children, health concerns often roll back to the kitchen.”To serve your food safely at your party, keep hot foods hot using warming trays, crock pots or Sterno cans,” said Judy Harrison, a UGA Extension food specialist. “Keep your hot food at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees or below.”Harrison suggests ways to hosts safely prepare party foods.To clean, “wash your hands before you prepare the food,” she said. “And make sure surfaces are clean when you prepare food for the party so there is less risk of contamination.”If you have raw meat in the kitchen, “make sure you’re keeping it separate from other food that’s ready to eat,” she said. “Use separate cutting boards for meats and ready-to-eat foods like cheese, fruits and vegetables. Or wash your used cutting board thoroughly in hot, soapy water and then sanitize it in one teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water or by using the sanitizing cycle of your dishwasher.”When cooking, “use a food thermometer to make sure foods you prepare are thoroughly cooked,” she said. “Meats like beef and pork need to reach 160 degrees and poultry 180. For ground poultry, the temperature should reach 165.”To chill, “make sure you keep cold foods cold,” she said. “Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is keeping food at 40 degrees or colder.”She suggests dividing foods into several small serving dishes you can store at the proper temperature until needed. “This way,” she said, “you can replace the dishes on your serving table often, to reduce the chances for contamination and the time for bacteria to grow.”Be especially mindful of temperature when serving foods such as tuna and egg salad and other salads or hors d’oeuvres that contain meat.”Don’t leave perishable foods at room temperature for more than two hours,” she said.(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Faith PeppersUniversity of GeorgiaJ. Scott Angle, dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, announced today that Steve L. Brown will be interim assistant dean of the UGA Tifton campus.Brown, a professor of entomology and UGA Cooperative Extension program coordinator, will serve in the position being vacated by David C. Bridges, who was recently named president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.A national search will be conducted for a new assistant dean for Tifton.”Dr. Brown brings a wealth of experience to the position, having spent nearly 16 years working on the Tifton campus,” Angle said. “There are many new programs just getting under way on the campus, and I look forward to working with Dr. Brown to move each of these forward.”Brown played a key role on a team of scientists that developed practical programs and management strategies for tomato spotted wilt virus, a deadly plant disease that attacks tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts and other Georgia crops.He developed the UGA Spotted Wilt Risk Index, a planning tool that helps growers assess and lower their crop’s risk for the disease. Economic analysis shows that Georgia farmers who use the risk index can see a net return of as much as $280 per acre.Brown is also a leading expert in the Southeast for insect control in stored grains, peanuts and cottonseed. He oversees the South’s only demonstration grain treatment and storage facility, which provides hands-on training for UGA Extension county agents and growers.The UGA Tifton campus is home to the Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton Conference Center, CAES academic programs and the Rural Development Center.Brown will begin in his new role in mid-June. The search for a permanent assistant dean will begin following a review of the structural relationship between the CAES operations in Tifton, Griffin and Athens.”This review is a part of an ongoing effort to better align the administration of our college to meet the needs of our students, our researchers and the public we serve,” Angle said. “Our aim is to develop a structure that will help us run more efficiently and be more effective in meeting our mission.”
University of GeorgiaWhether you’re managing 10 acres of land or 200, the Agroforestryand Wildlife Field Day Sept. 28 offers valuable information on theUniversity of Georgia campus in Griffin, Ga.This all-day event is designed to show private landowners, huntersand those in forestry or agribusiness how to make the most of theirland.You’ll hear research-based updates from experts with UGA, theGeorgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife ResourcesDivision, Georgia Forestry Commission, U.S. Department ofAgriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Fort ValleyState University.The field day enables landowners and other outdoor enthusiasts totalk with wildlife biologists, entomologists, agronomists and otherspeakers. They’ll discuss quality management of various wildlifespecies and the ways wildlife can benefit their land. And they’llshow ways the participating agencies can help them better managetheir land. Some of the more than 25 topics include:* Wildlife opening management.* Managing nuisance wildlife problems in Georgia.* Pond management.* Managing for wild turkeys.* Pine straw production.* Prescribed burning.* Cost-share assistance programs.* Bobwhite quail habitat management.* Thinning tree stands.* GPS/GIS.* Invasive insects, diseases and plants.The cost is $30 per person before Aug. 29 and $40 after that. Thefee covers lunch, field day presentations and a program bookletwith a short synopsis of each topic. If you preregister, you’reguaranteed a field day ball cap, too.You may choose which presentations to attend and board trams tolectures and demonstrations. You may also visit with agency andsponsor representatives and others at an exhibitor booth area.For more information or a registration form, visit the AWFD Website at www.caes.uga.edu/events/awfd06.
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaDesigned to help Georgians save water during a drought, the state’s outdoor water-use regulations include some helpful exemptions.Under the level-2 schedule, for instance, you can water your home food garden any day. And you can water newly installed turfgrass or landscape plants every day for 30 days.University of Georgia water specialist Rose Mary Seymour says there are ways to complete your outdoor tasks without breaking the law.Certain days, timesGeorgia is now using its level-2 outdoor water-use schedule. Outdoor water uses are allowed only from midnight to 10 a.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at odd-number street addresses and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at even-number addresses. Outdoor watering is banned all day on Fridays.”If you install new plants or new sod, you’re allowed to water it for 30 days,” she said. “You can water any day, as long as you do so during the designated hours.”Irrigating “home personal food gardens” is exempt from outdoor watering regulations, too. “Personal food gardens would cover both vegetable and herb gardens,” Seymour said.Use creative sourcesUsing captured or reclaimed stormwater or water from your cooling system is also exempt from the rules. Reuse of gray water is exempt, too, as long as local ordinances allow its use.”Gray water is water from washing machines, sinks, showers or anything household, except the toilet,” Seymour said. “You just have to check to be sure your local water purveyor allows gray water usage.”Many businesses exemptCommercial businesses have several exemptions.”Certain businesses are exempt from many of the rules because they rely on water for their livelihood,” Seymour said.Commercial businesses exempt from the watering regulations include professionally licensed landscapers, irrigation contractors, sod producers, ornamental growers, retail garden centers, fruit and vegetable growers, hydro-seeders, construction sites, food and fiber producers, car washes, power washers and other activities essential to daily business.”At this level, homeowners are still allowed to wash their cars and fill their swimming pools,” Seymour said. “But you can’t use water to wash off your driveway or deck.”
By Megan ForgraveWorld Food Prize FoundationWashington, D.C. – The World Food Prize Foundation awarded its Borlaug Medallion to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities today. The award was presented during a ceremony in Washington D.C. celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land-grant Act of 1862. Written by Senator Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont and signed into law on July 2, 1862, by President Abraham Lincoln, the legislation provided grants of federal lands to the states for the establishment of public universities and agricultural education programs nationwide, and led to the democratization of higher education. “Land-grant institutions have played a critical role in inspiring multiple generations to attain the highest levels of education and scientific research; fostering the most prolific era of agricultural production ever recorded in human history; and providing a model for emulation around the world as we endeavor to eliminate the scourge of hunger from the face of the earth,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize.Quinn presented the award to Scott Angle, chairman of the APLU Board on Agriculture Assembly and Dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Borlaug Medallion honors those organizations and Heads of State who would not ordinarily be eligible for the World Food Prize, but who have made an especially noteworthy contribution to improving the world’s food supply and ensuring adequate nutrition. In the past it has only been presented to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand; the Sasakawa Family and its Nippon Foundation of Japan; and Kofi Annan for his leadership of the United Nations.Quinn noted that Dr. Norman Borlaug – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founder of the World Food Prize, and known as the “Father of the Green Revolution” – was a graduate of a land-grant university.“APLU should be extremely proud of its stewardship of the universities across our country, and of the critical work and research that continues to occur at institutions across America,” Quinn said. “We continue to make great strides in science and agriculture, and we are committed to working with you to inspire future generations to take on the complex issues that we face around the globe.”The sesquicentennial celebration featured a keynote speech by Bill Gates; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also participated in dynamic panels about the future of education. There are currently 106 land-grant universities, including at least one in every state.Details about the World Food Prize Borlaug Medallion and a downloadable image of it are available online at www.worldfoodprize.org/borlaugmedallion.
Leading plant genomics researchers and breeders from the University of Georgia and across the world will meet May 18-21 at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, to discuss the latest genomic technology in plant breeding and crop improvement. Presented by HudsonAlpha and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the CROPS 2015 conference will focus on improving crop sustainability through genomics. The conference will be co-chaired by Jeremy Schmutz, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and manager of the Genome Sequencing Center, along with Scott Jackson, director of the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, and Peggy Ozias-Akins, director of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics.CROPS 2015 will bring together leading researchers who are applying genomic-based techniques to crop improvement, plant molecular breeding experts and traditional breeders interested in applying these techniques within their crops of interest.“We are honored to partner with the HudsonAlpha Institute to bring the best researchers in the world—working on the application of genetics and biotechnology to crop improvement—to share their cutting-edge research with crop scientists from around the world,” Jackson said. Tremendous progress has been made in plant genomics in just a few short years. Plant researchers have gone from generating a single reference genome for a single plant to generating hundreds of reference plant genomes. “Applying genomic technology in plant research is very powerful because we can actually breed plants to achieve a desired outcome,” Schmutz said. “With the advancement of genomic technology, we are able to identify the target traits in a plant that may be crossed to produce coveted characteristics.” For more information about speakers, abstracts, poster submissions or to register, visit www.CROPSconference.org.
Athens, Ga. – Steven Stice is leading researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center in a newly funded research consortium designed to hasten the development of advanced cell therapies for a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.With $20 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies, dubbed CMaT, will bring together RBC researchers, industry partners, clinicians, engineers, cell biologists and immunologists.”Partnerships of this nature-that span different universities and sectors-are critical to advancing human health around the world,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, “and I want to congratulate Dr. Stice and his team at the University of Georgia for helping to drive this important research center.”The flow of innovative ideas and techniques from this regional “manufacturing hub” based at the Georgia Institute of Technology could create a pipeline of therapies and lifetime cures for an aging population challenged by escalating chronic diseases.”We have a richer set of engineering resources to draw on than ever before, due in large part to the incredible talent UGA has been able to attract from across the country and around the world,” said Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Working alongside seasoned veterans like GRA Eminent Scholar Art Edison in the university’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, we can break through manufacturing bottlenecks and bring a new approach in CAR-T cell therapy to treat cancer.”Georgia Tech is able to host this research thanks in part to a previous gift of $16 million from the Atlanta-based Marcus Foundation to build a research center for therapeutic cell characterization and manufacturing. Additional funding from the Georgia Research Alliance and Georgia Tech sources bring the total investment in the center to $23 million.”The support of the Georgia Research Alliance and investments by the University of Georgia in talented faculty members who are committed to working with colleagues across the state and beyond is cementing Georgia’s reputation as a hub of research activity,” said UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten.UGA is one of three major partners, including the University of Wisconsin and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, as well as affiliate partners such as the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, the Gladstone Institutes and Michigan Technological University. Additional international academic partners, as well as industry and the U.S. national laboratories, also will be critical to this large-scale, collaborative effort.CMaT’s vision is to bring together a diverse group of scientists who can yield new levels of efficiency and productivity to make cell therapies more affordable and, therefore, more accessible.UGA’s College of Engineering Dean Donald J. Leo noted the benefits of the partnership for CMaT.”The distance between discovery and delivery is dramatically shrinking,” said Leo. “Now is the time to bring people with different expertise together to work as one-something we’re all really excited about.”Numerous clinical trials with various types of cells already have been completed, and many others trials are underway. However, the next “scalable method” as highlighted by the group, points to the translational challenge of creating a reliable, mass-produced “living cell” supply chain.”Unlike pharmaceuticals and other products now used in medical treatments, cells are living entities that can significantly change depending on nuances in the way they are grown, stored and otherwise manipulated,” said CMaT Director Krishnendu Roy. “The center will develop new engineering tools and scalable methods to better characterize, expand, transport and store cells so they provide consistent therapeutic effects, allowing them to be used in standardized therapies by clinicians to serve large numbers of patients worldwide.”In research laboratories and hospitals across the country, therapeutic cells often are processed in small non-uniform batches, a very expensive and time-consuming process with limited capacity to service large population groups affected by disease. “The field is maturing to a point where we can now say it’s no longer at the developing stage,” said Stice. “We’re past the discovery point. Now is the time to scale-up, streamline and become more efficient.”CMaT research has three primary goals.The first is to advance new innovations and tools, such as predictive cell therapy, in which properties or biomarkers of a given type of cell “predict” its safety, efficacy or potency. Tools like this could aid in the development of patient-specific therapies.The second goal is to develop regulatory guidelines and standards that will reduce the time it takes for technologies to move from the laboratory to commercial scale.The final goal centers on workforce development and the use of education as an instrument to recruit, inspire and train the next generation of engineering innovators and leaders.”CMaT’s leadership will create more agile partnerships across universities, the healthcare community and the biotech industry,” said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. “By creating a regional hub, we are bridging the innovation gap and making it easier to advance ideas that spur economic development.”Regenerative Bioscience Center The Regenerative Bioscience Center at UGA links researchers and resources collaborating in a wide range of disciplines to develop new cures for devastating diseases that affect animals and people. With its potential restorative powers, regenerative medicine could offer new ways of treating diseases for which there are currently no treatments-including heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke. For more information, see www.rbc.uga.edu.
A dual degree master’s program that evolved from a partnership between the University of Georgia and the University of Padova (UNIPD) in Padua, Italy, has also led to collaborative research between the two institutions.Katrien Devos, a professor with joint appointments in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences on the UGA campus in Athens, Georgia, coordinates research on the genetics of economically important grasses, including switchgrass as a bioenergy crop, seashore paspalum as a salt-tolerant turfgrass, and millets as subsistence food crops for the developing world.Her lab also served as the proving ground for research by Fabio Palumbo, a graduate student from UNIPD, working under the supervision of professor Gianni Barcaccia. During his Ph.D program, Palumbo mapped the male sterility gene in leaf chicory to better understand the genetic bases of this reproductive barrier that acts in flowering plants and to exploit it for breeding new F1 hybrid varieties, specifically in leaf chicory. A leafy vegetable that is widely cultivated in Europe, well-known types of leaf chicory are Belgian endive, sugarloaf and Italian radicchio.Barcaccia’s lab developed plant materials and performed experiments for genomic data production, while Devos’ lab assisted with genetic mapping analysis and data interpretation, and provided significant input during the manuscript preparation for Palumbo’s research. The two institutions published a joint paper this spring that detailed the first high-density linkage map construction through genotyping by sequencing in leaf chicory. This research project was funded by an Italian seed company that collaborates with UNIPD and that now uses this information for marker-assisted selection programs.Genotyping by sequencing, also called “reduced representation sequencing,” is a technique where a fraction of the genome is sequenced. The key is to sequence the same fraction of the genome in all samples so that the results can be directly compared. The sequence data can be used to develop markers that can be analyzed for their association with traits of interest.Many of the techniques and analyses methods that the Devos Lab normally implements can be transferred to other non-model species, such as chicory.“The six months spent with Professor Devos’ group were really important. First, they helped me a lot to improve my bioinformatic skills, with a special thanks to Dr. Peng Qi for his patience,” Palumbo said. “Secondly, Professor Devos involved me in two projects; one in switchgrass and one in aspen. This mutual cooperation was really fruitful.”Because of his collaboration with Devos and her research group, Palumbo was able to characterize the putative gene and understand some of the genetic bases of this reproductive barrier that acts in chicory and other flowering plants, as well as develop molecular assays of importance for breeding F1 hybrid varieties.“It was terrific working together. We had tons of molecular data, they had strong bioinformatic skills, and by putting everything together, it was possible to achieve excellent results. That’s a brilliant example of how university collaborations should work,” he said.Devos said she was impressed with Palumbo’s “scientific drive, level of independence and work ethic.”“This particular project provided training on a technique, and knowledge on this technique has now been transferred to Padua,” Devos added.For more information about the research project, visit https://bit.ly/2KhrS29.Palumbo worked with UGA through an existing partnership between the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and the UNIPD Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment in Italy. The two-year program that allows students to earn dual master’s degrees simultaneously at UGA and at UNIPD.Aaron Bruce of Lakeland, Georgia, and Samuele Lamon of Moniego Di Noale, Italy, graduated from the program this spring. They are the third and fourth students to graduate from the program.For more information about the dual degree program, see https://t.uga.edu/4Zs.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, families and young people struggled to find time in their busy schedules to be outside. Coined in 2005 by Richard Louv, nature-deficit disorder is a nonmedical term used to describe the disconnect more and more humans are experiencing with nature. Hunter-gatherer and agrarian societies were directly tied to the land. With the industrial age and advancements in technology over the last two centuries, humans are spending less time outside and more time on electronic devices.When young people spend time outdoors, they gain a greater appreciation for the natural resources around them. They can explore and be creative and curious — whether that means observing a worm wiggling on the pavement, looking at the different shapes of tree leaves or spending time digging in the dirt. A growing body of research suggests that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits to spending time outside, such as reduced stress, greater cognitive functioning and increased physical activity.Technology is powerful. Children and youth can read books, listen to podcasts, access the news, watch educational videos and even play cognitive games. These devices have been a tool during this time of quarantine and social distancing, connecting friends and family members through online meeting spaces. With many school systems switching their delivery mode to a virtual or hybrid model, there is even more concern for young people to have intentional time for screen disengagement. The following are some easy ways to take breaks from screen time. Make time to be outside. Can youth take their devices outdoors for instruction time? Can they read a book sitting on a bench in the public park or build a homework fort in the backyard? Finding intentional ways for kids to be outside while completing their required studies can help provide clarity and focus.Schedule breaks. Sitting in front of a screen for too long can cause eye strain and anxiety. If children are participating in virtual education, consider building in time for breaks. Even a quick stretch or walk around the block can increase their focus once resuming a task. Using a timer or device to schedule breaks can add fun and spontaneity.Involve the entire family. Instead of a Friday night movie, plan a hike instead. Create a fun and healthy snack to enjoy on a blanket in the backyard instead of eating at the kitchen table. Could you meet a relative or friend at the park for a picnic dinner? Engage in a civic science project — like monitoring the weather — that families can complete together.Allow unstructured play. It’s great for kids to complete an outdoor scavenger hunt or try to identify birds based on their songs and calls, but allowing some unstructured playtime outside encourages exploration. If the environment is safe, have young people simply wander and use their observation skills. Turn over a fallen log and see what is living under there. Dig in a hole in the dirt and feel the soil. Run around and enjoy the natural surroundings.At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Richard Louv, co-founder of the Children and Nature Network, compiled a list of activities to help families at childrenandnature.org.As with anything, having an intentional approach is the key to success. Start with small, incremental changes and track your family’s progress over time. Involve children and youth in the decision-making process — perhaps they have some ideas of their own. Helping young people to realize that technology can be beneficial but must be balanced with outdoor time is critical to their development.
Charleston and Church won the grand prize in the University of Georgia’s 2020 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest for its savory Cheddar Rounds snacks.Warren and Jen Simmons, owners of the Atlanta company, developed the product in 2016 from a handwritten recipe by his grandmother, who was an avid hostess of friends and family at her home in Charleston, South Carolina. The couple topped the savory snack food with Georgia pecans to complete a “deliciously Southern” treat, as the package reads.The couple were among 30 finalists who gave virtual product pitches from their businesses and home kitchens to a panel of socially distant judges who sampled submitted products in Athens on Oct. 27. The final round of judging was postponed from the original judging and awards date of April 7.A signature event for UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Flavor of Georgia has launched many market-ready and established products into success, often garnering increased sales and publicity for businesses.“Contestants represent the intersection of culinary skill and entrepreneurial spirit. Both ingredients are essential to bring a new food product into the marketplace and for the overall viability of the business,” said CAES Interim Dean Joe West during the virtual awards celebration.Entries are judged on technical aspects such as flavor, texture and ingredient profile. The judge also consider consumer appeal including packaging, innovation or uniqueness, and how well the product represents the state of Georgia.The winners by category, product name, company and city are listed below.Barbecue Sauces: Strawberry Balsamic and Rosemary Barbecue Sauce, Aubs Company, DecaturBeverages: Georgia Grey Black Tea, Thistle & Sprig Tea Company, AtlantaCondiments and Salsas: Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar, A&A Alta Cucina Italia, Johns CreekConfections: Georgia Fried Peanut Cluster – Vanilla, Georgia Fried Peanut Company, EdisonHoney and Related Products: Wildflower Honey, White Oak Pastures, BlufftonJams and Jellies: Apple Fig Pepper Jelly, Wisham Jellies, TiftonMeats and Seafood: 920 Pork Sausage, 920 Cattle & Co., MillenMiscellaneous: Lemon Cream Cheese, Bootleg Farm, SpringfieldSauces and Seasonings: You Saucy Thing Soy Ginger Vidalia, Chinese Southern Belle, SmyrnaSnack Foods: Cheddar Rounds, Charleston and Church, AtlantaThe winners and finalists include a mix of new and returning contestants, who often come back to compete with different products or flavors. A&A Alta Cucina Italia won the grand prize and salsas, chutneys and condiments category in 2015 with Balsamico Al Mirtillo (blueberry balsamic vinegar). This is the second year winning for the Georgia Fried Peanut Company in confections — their chocolate flavor won in 2017. Bootleg Farm’s feta cheese was a finalist in 2018. White Oak Pastures began entering the contest in 2008 and was a finalist in 2016 with chorizo sausage and again in 2018 with grass-fed beecon grind; their organic pepper jelly and spicy pork snack stick were also finalists this year. Chinese Southern Belle’s My Sweet Hottie (Mild) Homestyle Sweet & Sour Sauce won the sauces category in 2013 and the Wild Wild East Asian BBQ Teriyaki Pineapple was a finalist in barbecue sauces last year. Wisham Jellies won jams and jellies previously with the Wild Mayhaw Pepper Jelly in 2016 and the people’s choice award in 2015 for its Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Aubs Company took home the people’s choice award in 2019 with its signature AubSauce barbecue sauce.All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the Flavor of Georgia logo and the signature contest apron.Since 2007, more than 1,600 products have been submitted to Flavor of Georgia. A total of 117 products were entered this year, all of which are featured in the annual directory on the contest website.“The phrase ‘culinary delights’ takes on a whole new depth this year,” said contest coordinator Sharon P. Kane, an agricultural economist for the college. “Many people turned to food and drink for nourishment and comfort this year, and it’s more important than ever that we support these local businesses.”Food and drink manufacturing businesses represent nearly 10% of employment in Georgia’s agricultural system and is the largest manufacturing sector in the state for employment, sales and value-added products, according to Kane’s research.The contest is supported by sponsorships from the Georgia Agribusiness Council and the Georgia Department of Agriculture and its Georgia Grown marketing program, to which finalists receive a one-year membership.More information about the contest is available at www.flavorofga.com and by following the contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @flavorofga.
Morrisville VT Responding to steady growth and expansion, Union Bank is very pleased to announce the following promotionsand responsibilities.Cynthia Borck, Executive Vice President, will lead the Banks Product Development, Item Processing and Deposit Operations departments. Ms. Borck is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank. She has been with Union Bank since 1987 and residesin Wolcott.Stephen Kendall, Vice President, returns to the Banks Main Office to lead the Consumer and Retail Mortgage Lending activities. Mr. Kendall has been serving as Branch Manager at the Banks Fairfax office. He has been with Union Bank since January of 2002 and resides in South Burlington.Jeff Coslett, Vice President, currently heads the Banks Human Resources department and will add Branch Administration to his duties. Mr. Coslett joined Union Bank in February 2003 and resides in Jeffersonville.Lorraine Gordon, Assistant Vice President, will lead the Banks Training programs and assist with Human Resource responsibilities. Ms. Gordon returns to the Bank from New Zealand to assume this very important role. Ms. Gordon became a part of Union Bank in May 2001 and resides inMilton.Peter Eley, Senior Vice President, will focus on the Banks fast growing Electronic Banking/ATM and Security department. The increase in E-Commerce, telephone, Internet and ATM traffic; as well as its many levels of risk management are important aspects of Mr. Eleys many responsibilities. Mr. Eley joined the bank in September of 2003. He resides in Stowe.Don Goodhue, Information Systems Officer, will consolidate his responsibilities into managing the Banks network and information systems. Mr. Goodhue is responsible for all telephone and data connections in all the Banks 14 facilities. He has been with Union Bank since May 2002 andresides in Morrisville.These individuals represent a combined banking experience of over 120 years, and are a valued asset to the Banks long history of service to the community. Union Bank, with headquarters in Morrisville, Vermont, offers deposit, loan, trust and commercial banking services throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire. As of December 31, 2005,Union Bank had approximately $375 million in consolidated assets and operated 12 banking offices, 30 ATM facilities in Vermont and loan origination offices in St. Albans, Vermont and Littleton, NewHampshire. The Bank has 170 members on its team. For more information, please call Joann Tallman, Assistant Secretary, at(802) 888-6600.
Customers interested in signing up for Greener Mountain Power can go to www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external) or callGreen Mountain Power at 1-888-TEL-GMPC (1-888-835-4672.)Greener Mountain Power is a five-year commitment,by calendar year. Customers may withdraw at any time, but cannot sign up againuntil the end of the original five-year period. GREENMOUNTAIN POWER INTRODUCES NEW RENEWABLERATE David OBrien, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said,We are very pleased that Green Mountain Power is implementing a green rate.This is an ideal way to offer consumers a choice of what energy sources theywish to support. Green Mountain Power Corporation (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is aVermont-based energy services company serving 90,000 electriccustomers. Green Mountain Power will purchase certified renewable resources on theNew England power grid equal to the portion ofelectricity customers designate to purchase through Greener Mountain Power. Theprice of those resources will be locked in for five years, which will helpstabilize the Greener Mountain Power rate. When Vermont projects are available, they willreceive a priority. Likely candidates for inclusion would include wind, biomassand biogas. Green Mountain Power worked closely with the Vermont Department of PublicService and Renewable Energy Vermont in developing the program. The program is available to residential, commercial and industrial customers.Residential and small commercial customers can choose to have 25 percent, 50percent or 100 percent of their power come from renewable resources. Largeindustrial customers may choose a ten percent level, but greater amounts requirepermission from the Company. Our customers have expressed interest in being able to choose renewableresources and Im pleased that we will now be able to offer them that choice.Green Mountain Powers overall power mix is already low in fossil fuels, butunder our new program, customers can choose 100 percent renewable resources,said Chris Dutton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green MountainPower. Weve called the program Greener Mountain Power to reflect thatgreener choice. -30- Customers pay a premium for the renewable resources of just over four cents perkilowatthour. For residential customers using 750 kilowatthours a month, signingup for 25 percent of their use under Greener Mountain Power would add $7.88 totheir $97.55 monthly bill, for a total of $105.43. March 14, 2006 Due to the laws of physics, actual electrons flow to the nearest need and cannotbe directed to specific locations. Through Greener Mountain Power, customerswill be financially supporting qualifying new renewable energy sources connectedto the New England electric grid but that powerwill not necessarily flow to their home. Andrew Perchlik, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont, said, We werepleased to work with Green Mountain Power to develop this new renewable rate. Wethink it is important that Green Mountain Power customers now have the option ofa green rate to support renewable energy in Vermont and NewEngland. COLCHESTER, VT . . . Green Mountain Power Corporation(NYSE:GMP) announced today that its customers now have the choice of buying allor a portion of their power from renewable resources. The Vermont Public ServiceBoard has given its final approval to the program, effectiveimmediately. For further information, please contact Dorothy Schnure, Manager of CorporateCommunications, at 802-655-8418, David OBrien, Commissioner of VermontDepartment of Public Service at (802) 828-2321, or Andrew Perchlik, ExecutiveDirector of Renewable Energy Vermont at (802)229-0099.
LaborCommissioner to RetireGovernor Praises Her Commitment to Public Service Montpelier, Vt. — Vermont’slabor commissioner Patricia McDonald will retire from state governmenteffective May 31, the office of Governor Jim Douglas announced April 3, 2006. During her career in state government, she has worked for threeGovernors and has held seven appointed positions. In addition to thepositions noted above, she has also served as Secretary of Transportation;Deputy Commissioner of Education; Commissioner of Motor Vehicles; andCommissioner of Personnel, a position she held twice. In addition to serving Governors Snelling, Dean and Douglas, McDonaldworked with legislatures controlled by both Republicans and Democrats. “And all admired her for her ability to work with them, and to get thejob done,” Douglas added. “Pat hascertainly earned her retirement, but I do hope that she will seek other ways toserve our wonderful state.” She is a former member of the Berlin Planning Commission, CentralVermont Regional Planning Commission, and Vermont Council on RuralDevelopment. She is married to Retired Captain J. Bruce McDonald, VermontState Police and has a daughter, two stepsons, and two grandsons. Prior to her public sector career, McDonald enjoyed a nineteen-yearcareer with CIBA-GEIGY Corporation, where she held several key managerial andadministrative positions within the corporate and human resourcesoffices. She was also employed by the Merchants Bank for more than threeyears and served as Vice President of Human Resources and RegulatoryManagement. ABOUT PATRICIA MCDONALDPatricia A. McDonald was appointed Commissioner of the VermontDepartment of Labor on July 1, 2005. Prior to this appointment, she wasCommissioner of the Department of Employment and Training. Her primaryfocus was to oversee the merger of the Department of Labor and Industry and theDepartment of Employment and Training. Ms. McDonald serves as Chair of the Vermont Employment Security Board,the Governor’s Interagency Workforce Development Committee and the StateApprenticeship Council. She is also a member of the Governor’s JobsCabinet and the Human Resources Investment Council. Ms. McDonald resides in Berlin, Vermont and is Chair of theBerlin Selectboard. She also serves as Chair of the Berlin Capital BudgetCommittee and is a member of the Town Center Task Force. McDonald, who has worked in state government for more than 13 years,has served three governors in a total of seven appointed positions. “Pat has had a remarkable career,” Governor Douglas said.“She has served the state in so many ways; as commissioner of both theDepartments of Human Resources and Motor Vehicles, as secretary of the Agencyof Transportation, and most recently she undertook for me the challenge ofmerging the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Employmentand Training.” The merger is one which had been discussed foryears, but Douglas credits McDonald’sskilled leadership for making it happen. Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier, VT 05609-0101¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 ###
This year marks the fifth consecutive year that the University of Vermont has seen record-breaking enrollment numbers. Approximately 13,100 students will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 31, a number that includes 10,200 undergraduates, 1,450 graduate students, 450 medical students and 1,000 non-degree students. Also breaking records in numbers this year are UVM’s ALANA (Asian-American, Latino, African-American, Native American and multi-racial) students. Approximately 1,090 ALANA students are expected to enroll this fall, a 13.8 percent increase over last year. That gain is in large part attributed to a 51.9 percent increase in first-time, first-year ALANA students, up to 313 from 206 last year, making the Class of 2013 the most diverse in UVM history.The evening before classes begin, the university will celebrate the new academic year with a convocation ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Patrick Gymnasium. This year’s keynote speaker is Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. The event is free and open to the public, however, tickets are required.Visit the convocation website: http://www.uvm.edu/~presdent/ceremonies/convocation/(link is external) to learn more about the event and acquiring tickets.After convocation, which will also include remarks from campus leadership, participants are invited to process down Main Street to a candlelight induction ceremony for the Class of 2013 on the UVM Green. The ceremony is just one of the events the approximately 2,620 first-year students will participate in over Opening Weekend, an annual program that helps acquaint new students to college life. The incoming first-year students, who will arrive on campus for Opening Weekend on Friday, Aug. 28, are one of the brightest classes to enroll at UVM; 29 percent were among the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class and 66 percent were among the top 25 percent.Several changes in academic programming are new this year. The Area and International Studies Program has become the Global and Regional Studies program, an expansion of the program that will allow students to complete a major in one of six areas of study ranging from Asian studies to Latin American studies and/or a minor in one of eight. UVM students will now be able to pursue a bachelor of arts in engineering, allowing for more educational breadth in the liberal arts than is possible with the various engineering bachelor of science degrees. Other new degree and certificate options include a minor in public communication, a master’s degree in accountancy, and a certificate of graduate study in complex systems. Also new this fall: students are no longer required to complete two credits of physical education.Students will return to campus to find progress on James M. Jeffords Hall, the $55.7 million, 97,000 square foot research, laboratory, and classroom building scheduled to be completed in March 2010 and two completed construction project: the McAuley Hall renovation on Trinity Campus which returned the building to its former state as a residence hall and the infill of the Given Courtyard, which added 30,000 square feet of space for College of Medicine faculty and staff. All three projects are registered for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification.
NBT Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Dietrich announced that Matt Durkee has been hired as regional president of NBT Bank’s operations in Vermont. In this position, Durkee will develop and manage all of the bank’s activities in the state. The bank has opened a regional office at 150 Bank Street in Burlington, where Durkee and the team he is assembling will be based. Later this year, the bank plans to open a branch at the same location. “We are very happy to have Matt Durkee at NBT Bank,” Dietrich said. “His extensive banking experience and knowledge of Vermont’s business environment will help us establish and expand our presence in this attractive market, which complements our operations in northern New York. For more than 150 years, our community banking approach has focused on highly personalized service, responsive decision making and a wide array of products and services. We look forward to bringing this approach to individuals and organizations in Vermont.”Durkee has more than 23 years of banking experience. Before joining NBT Bank, he was senior vice president of regional financial services and president of Chittenden Canada for People’s United Bank, based in Bridgeport, Conn., and its predecessor, Chittenden Bank, based in Burlington. He began working for Chittenden Bank in 1985. Over the years, he oversaw functions related to commercial banking, international banking and consumer banking as well as trust and insurance services.A resident of Williston, Durkee has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Green Mountain College and a graduate degree in banking from the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He is involved in several community and professional organizations, including the United Way of Chittenden County, the American Heart Association and the Commercial Finance Association.NBT Bank provides personal banking, asset management and business services. The independent community bank, based in Norwich, N.Y., has 84 offices in upstate New York. The bank recently expanded into Vermont by opening a regional office in Burlington. NBT Bank’s parent company, NBT Bancorp Inc., had assets of $5.4 billion as of June 30, 2009.Source: NBT. NORWICH, N.Y. (OCTOBER 22, 2009) –
As elevated levels of radioactive isotopes continue to leak into groundwater surrounding the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, one of Vermont’s leading environmental organizations today filed a motion to intervene in the docket before the Public Service Board on the matter.The Vermont Natural Resources Council cites the organization’s interest in protecting the state’s groundwater – a resource legally held in trust for the common good of all Vermonters –and the critical need to assure the state interprets the new groundwater public trust law correctly.“Protecting Vermont’s groundwater is the responsibility of the state, and it is imperative to safeguard our state’s primary drinking water supply and an invaluable resource for farming, recreation and much more,” said VNRC Water Program Director and Legal Counsel Jon Groveman. “The recent news that underground pipes at Vermont Yankee are leaking increasingly elevated amounts of radioactive tritium into area groundwater spurred us to intervene. VNRC is deeply concerned that this radioactive material could contaminate drinking water supplies of neighboring communities as well as the Connecticut River.”VNRC successfully helped lead a four-year effort that culminated in 2008 to statutorily declare Vermont’s groundwater a public trust resource. The public trust provision for the state’s groundwater – which was been afforded Vermont’s surface waters for more than a century – offers an important layer of legal protection to help safeguard the resource.“Legal protection for Vermont’s groundwater is crucial, especially right now,” said VNRC Executive Director Elizabeth Courtney. “The source of the leak at Vermont Yankee continues to elude investigators. The contamination has rapidly increased. And the underground plume appears to be spreading. This is a startling and potentially dangerous picture.”“VNRC and all Vermonters have a serious stake in how the state negotiates this issue,” said Groveman. “That’s why it’s incumbent upon the state to fulfill its obligation to protect and manage Vermont’s groundwater for the good of all Vermonters. In this case, that means the state has a responsibility to consider the impact of relicensing Vermont Yankee on groundwater. Clearly, with the serious and significant levels of radioactive materials leaking into Vermont’s water recently, this is an issue of grave concern and importance.”About the Vermont Natural Resources CouncilVNRC is an independent, nonprofit research, education, and advocacy organization founded in 1963 to protect Vermont’s environment, economy, and quality of life. Nearly 6,000 households, businesses, and organizations have joined VNRC in support of our mission to establish an approach to development that strengthens communities, enhances economic opportunity and protects Vermont’s irreplaceable natural resources.Source: VNRC. 2.9.2010###
The Honorable John BoehnerSpeaker of the HouseU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Mitch McConnellMinority LeaderU.S. SenateWashington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Nancy PelosiMinority LeaderU.S. House of RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515 Governor Peter Shumlin, along with the other five governors of New England states, has sent a letter to Congress urging members not to reduce funding for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Governor Shumlin made the following statement regarding the letter: ‘As winter draws closer, I am very concerned that federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) might be reduced. A decrease in LIHEAP funding would put additional stress on our most vulnerable Vermonters, at a time when we are already stretched thin from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene. This issue cuts through party lines, as demonstrated by all six New England governors coming together to urge Congressional leaders to maintain LIHEAP funding at $5.1 billion. As New England Governors, we recognize that Northeast households face some of the nation’s highest home heating bills due to the long winters and high price of delivered fuels. In our letter to Congress, we outline the urgent need for this modest but vital relief for households already struggling with unaffordable energy bills. I cannot emphasize enough the need to fund this important program so all Vermonters get the heat they need this winter.’ Please see the letter below: The Honorable Harry ReidMajority LeaderU.S. SenateWashington, D.C. 20510 Dear Majority Leader Reid, Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner, and Leader Pelosi: As our states prepare for the coming winter heating season, we are deeply concerned over reports that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding in FY2012 could be reduced by as much as 50 percent. This reduction would jeopardize meaningful assistance for the most vulnerable low income households struggling to pay unaffordable home energy bills. We recognize that you face difficult budget decisions in the coming days. However, as home heating fuel prices continue their upward trend, we respectfully urge you to support LIHEAP funding at the level of $5.1 billion, the last level Congress authorized. Households in the Northeast face some of the nation’s highest home heating bills due to the long winter heating season and heating fuel prices that typically exceed national average prices regardless of the fuel used. Households in our states are more likely to be dependent on expensive delivered fuels, such as home heating oil or propane. In August, home heating oil prices in the Northeast were approximately $3.80/gallon ‘ a 15 percent increase over 2008 prices and a more than 25 percent increase over 2010. The Energy Information Administration projects that the price of home heating oil will reach $4.00/gallon this winter. At these prices, the cost of filling a typical tank is over $1,000. If LIHEAP funding in FY2012 is reduced to the level of $2.57 billion, our states will be required to take drastic measures that will endanger the most vulnerable LIHEAP households. As outlined in the enclosed fact sheet prepared by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), these include reducing benefit levels from 25 to up to 50 percent, tightening eligibility standards, or delaying payments until the coldest part of the winter or shutting the program down when the weather is still cold. Each option holds potential risks for the households, particularly the 60 percent of LIHEAP households in the Northeast with income below the federal poverty level of $15,000 for a two-person household. Changing LIHEAP eligibility standards could cut off households from other public and private assistance such as shut off moratoriums and assistance with paying down arrearages. If the basic LIHEAP benefit is reduced as much as 50 percent this winter, it would not cover the cost of the minimum delivery required by home heating fuel dealers. We urge you to support a funding level of $5.1 billion in FY2012 so that this vital program can continue to offer modest yet urgently needed relief to millions of our nation’s most vulnerable households struggling with unaffordable energy bills. Sincerely, Dannel P. MalloyGovernor of Connecticut Paul R. LePageGovernor of Maine Deval L. PatrickGovernor of Massachusetts Peter ShumlinGovernor of Vermont Lincoln D. ChafeeGovernor of Rhode Island John H. LynchGovernor of New Hampshire