Blue Ridge Parkway Closes Southernmost Section to Support COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

first_imgOther sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway motor road remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance, where not otherwise closed. The park will continue to assess changing conditions in our region and work with local communities to extend or terminate closures, as appropriate to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, partners, and local residents. The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy. National Park Service officials announced today the southernmost 14 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Milepost 455 to 469, will close effective immediately in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in coordination with travel restrictions in place from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Great Smoky Mountains Park. last_img read more

Are you marketing or spending?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Joe SwatekThe Super Bowl is coming up and soon the pre-game hype will start over this year’s crop of commercials. One of the favorite all-time Super Bowl commercials showed a young boy dressed in his Darth Vader costume as he tried to use The Force to control objects.I bring up that example because it fits into my topic, but first, let’s define what I mean by the headline of this blog.Marketing means your advertising gets results. For financial services marketers, it means your advertising opens more accounts, increases deposits and revenue, and broadens your customer or member base.Marketing that doesn’t accomplish these goals is merely spending. You’ve spent your money and accomplished nothing. (Except, maybe, you’ve held on to your marketing job.)Wether you work for a bank or a credit union, you have the same problem as all other financial institutions. The public thinks all your products and services are the same as any other financial institution. Likely, that’s close to the truth. continue reading »last_img read more

Are your member business lending files audit-ready?

first_imgFew words strike more fear into the heart of credit union lending professionals than audit. We all dread them, rarely are they any fun and they’re the cause of more than a few cases of insomnia and heartburn. Wouldn’t it be terrific if all your member business lending files were always audit-ready? That’s not just pie-in-the-sky thinking. It can be that way; all it takes is the assistance of a qualified credit union service organization (CUSO).Because many credit unions lack the budget and/or employee experience to fully tackle member business lending the way it ought to be, the looming threat of an SBA audit hangs heavy. Having audit-ready files is critical for SBA loans as they can cause examiners to issue the dreaded “finding” on one of your member business lending loans. If every minute detail isn’t tended to, your credit union can suffer a lower rating in the eyes of the SBA, as well as causing a repair or denial of a guaranty (in a repurchase scenario). A qualified CUSO provides that extra set of eyes to review all your member business lending documents for completeness and accuracy, dramatically reducing the likelihood an audit will turn up anything of concern. Credit union staff can sleep easier knowing this as it directly impacts their members and their standing with the overall SBA lending program.The current and future financial health of credit unions depends on member business lending, especially SBA lending. When credit unions employ the services of an experienced and qualified CUSO to review their member business lending documentation, they add directly to the vigor and vitality of credit unions nationwide. 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Laurie Anderson Mrs. Anderson has been employed with MBL for 9 years in the Servicing department. Mrs. Anderson is responsible for the maintenance, digital storage and continued servicing of the MBL portfolio. … Web: mblllc.com/default.aspx Detailslast_img read more

Study finds greater, later role for antivirals in flu patients

first_img Frederick Hayden, MD, an antiviral expert with the World Health Organization, told the CP that the study’s findings on the benefits of later antiviral treatment were compelling. “It’s clear from this experience now that there seems to be a benefit, even with later treatment,” he said. The Toronto-based researchers reviewed medical data from 327 adults who were hospitalized for laboratory-confirmed influenza between January 2005 and May 2006 to explore how antiviral medications influenced the patients’ treatment outcome. The study was funded by a grant from Hoffman-La Roche, the maker of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), but the authors state the company had no role in designing, conducting, or reporting the study. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies people aged 65 and older among the groups vulnerable to serious complications of influenza. In the United States each year, seasonal influenza is linked to about 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, according to a Nov 12 press release from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which publishes CID. The researchers found that antiviral medications reduced the risk of death by 79% (odds ratio, 0.21; 95% confidence interval, 0.06 to 0.80). The treatment did not reduce the length of hospital stay, however. The standard advice about antiviral treatment for flu—based on previous studies involving relatively young, otherwise healthy adults—is that it must begin within 48 hours after onset of symptoms to be effective. But the new findings, published in the early online Dec 15 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), suggest the virus may behave differently in an older, sicker population, giving antiviral medications a role later in the illness course. Thirty-two percent (106) of the patients were prescribed antiviral drugs; three received amantadine and 103 got oseltamivir. Of the 100 patients for whom more detailed oseltamivir treatment data was available, 71 were treated starting more than 48 hours after their flu symptoms began. The finding that antiviral treatment begun more than 48 hours after symptom onset was beneficial for older patients does not contradict other findings that for otherwise healthy adults the drugs are effective only when given sooner, the researchers write. A robust immune response in healthy patients quickly clears the virus from the body, and late antiviral treatment isn’t helpful. “However, patients with severe immunocompromise may not control viral replication for many days, and little is known about the time course of viral load in older patients at risk of influenza complications,” the authors report. CDC information on seasonal influenzahttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease.htm They conclude that their findings support the use of antiviral medications in hospitalized patients, but McGeer, in the IDSA press release, said the drugs should be prescribed only when patients really need them. “As with antibiotics, there is a risk for selection for antiviral resistance, and it is important to use the medications only where there is a clear benefit,” she said. Anne Moscona, MD, an antiviral expert at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said the CID study findings have the potential to change how physicians manage flu patients, according to a report today by the Canadian Press (CP). “I think this could be a real advance,” Moscona told the CP. CDC information on antiviral treatment for fluhttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/index.htm McGeer A, Green KA, Pleveshi A, et al. Antiviral therapy and outcomes of influenza requiring hospitalization in Ontario, Canada. Clin Infect Dis 2007;45(15 Dec) [Full text] The authors of the CID study say the rates of disease they found varied by medical facility and that the number of lab-confirmed flu cases was lower than what they had expected for the number of hospital admissions and population size. Nov 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Adults who are hospitalized with serious seasonal influenza infections are more likely to survive if they receive antiviral medications, and older patients may benefit even if treatment is delayed until more than 48 hours after their first symptoms, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. More physicians should be testing for influenza and prescribing antiviral treatment when they find it in hospital patients, she said in the CP report. McGeere said her team’s findings don’t diminish the importance of flu vaccination. “Considerable morbidity and mortality due to influenza remain. We need—and people are working on—better vaccines,” McGeer said. “Until we get them, we can help people by diagnosing and treating disease.” “Influenza causing hospital admission is more common than most people think,” said the study’s lead author, Allison McGeer, MD, in the IDSA press release. “We will save lives if we recognize and appropriately treat influenza in patients being admitted to the hospital.” Among the study group, 75% (245) of patients had an underlying chronic illness and 71% (216) had received their annual their annual flu vaccine. The median age of the patients was 77 years (range, 15 to 98). Moscona told the CP, “If we test more, we’ll identify more, and people will get more antivirals as opposed to antibiotics.” See also:last_img read more

FDA broadens BSE-related feed ban

first_img The United States has found three BSE cases, the last one in March 2006. Canada has discovered a total of 12, the last one in late February. The FDA said the rule was first proposed and opened for public comment in October 2005. To give the affected industries time to adapt, the new rule will not take effect until Apr 23, 2009, the FDA said. Jul 13, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Canada widens BSE-related feed ban; US still pondering” The new rule also prohibits cattle carcasses that haven’t been inspected and cleared for human consumption unless the brains and spinal cords have been removed or the cattle are less than 30 months old. Animal health experts have said the risk of BSE in cattle younger than 30 months is exceedingly low. When Canada banned SRM from all animal feeds last year, the restrictions created difficulties for the country’s cattle industry, according to previous reports. The SRM had to be removed with special equipment and disposed of with specialized procedures. The FDA said the new rule could cost the US beef industry $100 million in the first year and about $80 million annually in following years, the Washington Post reported today. To prevent the spread of BSE, the United States and Canada both banned the use of cattle protein in feed for cattle and other ruminant animals in 1997. The new rule builds on the 1997 regulation, the FDA said. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in the press release that the FDA’s action further protects US cattle from an already low risk of BSE. “The new rule strengthens existing safeguards,” she said. Apr 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday announced a ban on certain cattle materials from all animal feed starting next year, an action designed to protect animals and humans against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. After Canada and the United States each discovered its first BSE case in 2003, both countries banned the use of SRM from cattle older than 30 months in human food. Proposals to ban SRM from all animal feed and pet food grew out of concerns that the BSE agent could spread if feed intended for nonruminant animals, such as pigs, poultry, or pets, cross-contaminated cattle feed during production or transport or was accidentally given to cattle on farms. See also: However, the new restrictions could also benefit the industry. A US official told the Post that South Korea lifted restrictions on US beef last week after receiving assurances that the United States would strengthen its feed rules. Canada has had a similar ban on SRM in all animal feed since July 2007; however, the Canadian rule goes a step further by banning the risky parts from use in fertilizer. Sep 22, 2005, CIDRAP News story “FDA to add new BSE-related feed rules soon” Ron Eustice, executive director of the Minnesota Beef Council, based in Minneapolis, told CIDRAP News he supported the FDA’s stronger feed ban. “We have always had concerns about the remote possibility of cross-species utilization of feedstuffs,” he said. “This step is taken in an abundance of caution to continue our efforts to safeguard America’s beef supply.” Materials barred from animal feed are those most likely to contain the BSE agent, the FDA said in a press release. Known as “specified risk materials,” the tissues include the brains and spinal cords of cattle aged 30 months or older. Apr 23 FDA press release In other developments, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced in a press release on Apr 16 that the country’s 11th BSE case, in a 13-year-old beef cow from Alberta, had an atypical strain of BSE that has also been reported in Europe. Officials said the atypical strain is more common in older cattle and has been found in only one other Canadian BSE case.last_img read more

Jose Mourinho predicts two-horse Premier League title race between Liverpool and Manchester City

first_imgJose Mourinho predicts two-horse Premier League title race between Liverpool and Manchester City Advertisement Comment Advertisement Liverpool are leading the title race so far (Picture: Getty)‘If they don’t do it, the distance just after four weeks is the distance that impresses a little bit.’Tottenham can go level on points with Arsenal with a win against their bitter rivals, while the Gunners could go third with a victory.Once the London Derby is decided, clubs action will be put on hold as the international fixtures take over.MORE: Jermaine Jenas blasts Mohamed Salah after spat with Sadio Mane in Liverpool’s victory over BurnleyMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man Citycenter_img City are going for their third successive league title (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho believes the Premier League title race will be a two-horse race between Liverpool and Manchester City.The three-time title winner did think Tottenham would be able to challenge Liverpool and City, and City’s B team, for the trophy, but amended his original prediction ahead of Spurs’ trip to the Emirates.Liverpool currently lead the table after City and Tottenham dropped points in recent weeks and Mourinho has now delivered a new prediction.‘I think both [Arsenal and Tottenham need the points]. We were having a laugh at Old Trafford in the first fixture of the season,’ Mourinho said on Sky Sports.ADVERTISEMENT Coral BarrySunday 1 Sep 2019 3:32 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3kShares Mourinho did think Tottenham could be title contenders (Picture: Getty)‘I was having the joke of Man City B, Spurs, Liverpool and Man City [challenging for the title].AdvertisementAdvertisement‘Just three or four weeks later, we understand clearly Liverpool and Man City are going to finish first and second, or second and first.‘Can Tottenham or Arsenal be there? They push for it, I think today is very important for them to win.last_img read more

Negative rates confound pension fund ‘prudent’ asset allocation, says S&P

first_img“If nothing else, it’s a cost in productivity. It gets more difficult and expensive to complete transactions. You really turn the clock back.”Robert Palombi, managing director at S&P Global, noted that negative rates can incentivise pension funds or insurance companies to increase their investment risk profile, which in turn can enable riskier borrowing by companies, fuelling a negative feedback loop.“Negative interest rates lead to excessive risk-taking, which could create more credit pressures and possibly defaults that have a deleterious impact on the economy, and creates the need for more stimulus,” he said.However, he said such a scenario can be avoided if the negative rates policy is successful in stimulating economic growth. Negative interest rates set by central banks run the risk of making prudent asset allocation “impossible” for pension funds and other long term investors that relay on bonds for part of their portfolio, according to S&P Global.David Blitzer, managing director, index management, at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said a negative policy rate by a central bank will spread negative interest rates across the economy, which could lower bank profits but also hurt other financial institutions.“Insurance companies and other non-bank financial institutions facing long term liabilities at fixed nominal rates will suffer,” he wrote in a contribution to an S&P report on the range of impacts of negative interest rates. “Pension funds and other long term investors which rely on bonds for part of their portfolio will find prudent asset allocation impossible.”Overall, if negative interest rates spread beyond major financial institutions, society would return to being “cash-only”, said Blitzer.last_img read more

Subsea 7 plans cost cuts as loss doubles

first_imgTherefore, an annualised reduction in cash costs would be approximately $400 million by Q2 2021. As a result Subsea 7 also expects to record a restructuring charge in 2020. The company also anticipates non-permanent workforce reduction. Subsea 7 has seen red in Q1 2020 on activity drop in the SURF and Conventional business units as well as COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue for the Renewables and Heavy Lifting division was up from $53 million in Q1 2019 at $62 million. SURF and Conventional revenue for Q1 2020 was $625 million, down 19 percent from Q1 2019. At the end of the first quarter, Subsea 7 had cash and cash equivalents of $340 million. Subsea 7 expects order flow to be low in the coming months and competition to increase, impacting the outlook for revenues and margins in the latter part of 2020 and beyond. The company reported adjusted EBITDA , against $111 million in Q1 2019. Order backlog was $5.6 billion, with order intake totaling $1.5 billion. $2.7 billion is for execution in the remainder of 2020. John Evans, chief executive officer, said: A comprehensive cost reduction programme is being developed and will be announced in the second quarter. The company has cut its capital investment plans for 2020 to $230-250 million, from our prior guidance of $270-290 million. These actions would be implemented over the next twelve months.center_img “Just eight weeks ago, we discussed our positive outlook for the year, with an expectation of continued momentum in new order intake and a tightening market for some of our high-end pipelay vessels. $4.6 billion is related to Subsea 7 SURF and Conventional business unit. The Oslo-listed firm posted quarterly loss of $38 million, or $13 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $751 million. The company is also implementing longer-term plans to re-shape the business to reflect the changed outlook for the industry. Total vessel utilization was 63 percent, down nine percentage points from the prior-year period. Impact of Covid-19 and low oil prices “In the near term, our efforts are now focused on safeguarding the health of the Group’s 12,000 workforce while we continue to deliver projects for clients under difficult conditions. Subsea 7 expects its active fleet will reduce by releasing a number of chartered vessels and stacking some owned vessels. However, a reduction in permanent employees might also be necessary. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter was 9 per cent, versus 13 per cent in Q1 2019. Subsea 7 said it is yet to determine the financial cost of addressing the operational inefficiencies of Covid-19. The result compares to loss of $19 million, or $0.6 EPS on revenue of $859 billion same time last year. “The outlook has changed significantly as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand for energy and the price of oil. last_img read more

Commission Looks To Improve College For Adult Learners

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is offering its recommendations for ways to help increase the state’s college completion rates for non-traditional adult students.A recent study shows that for every student that goes to college part-time every semester, there is another with blended enrollment – attending fulltime whenever possible but dropping to part-time for certain semesters.The Commission recommends colleges to create and guide students to academic structures that support continues fulltime enrollment or more structured part-time enrollment.They also recommend aligning state and institutional services and resources to address non-academic challenges, such as financial needs, and also a redesign of part-time grants.“We often over simplify how students are earning their post-secondary credentials, thinking of full-time students as recent high school graduates and part-time students as working adults. In fact, those lines are incredibly blurry,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, Teresa Lubbers.The recommendations are designed to bring the state of Indiana closer to a 60 percent attainment rate by 2025.last_img read more

CANOEFEST RACES POSTPONED DUE TO HEAVY RAIN

first_imgBrookville, Ind. — A report from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department says Canoefest 2017 will roll with one minor glitch; the largest canoe race in the region has been postponed due to heavy rains. The races have been rescheduled for the weekend of July 8.Organizers say no other changes are being made and all other activities will go on as scheduled.last_img