Life-Saving Data

first_imgThe University of Georgia’s 86 weather stations record data 24 hours a day, seven days a week across Georgia. Farmers use this data to help them determine when to plant and treat their crops. During Hurricane Michael, the system helped the National Weather Service to track the storm and save lives.“Many of the National Weather Service’s sites stopped working as the storm moved through the area,” said Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and interim director of the university’s weather network. “Afterwards, the National Weather Service specifically mentioned to me how much they appreciated being able to use our network data to monitor the storm conditions when their own stations went down.”Formally named the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, the UGA system records air temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, soil temperature at depths of 2, 4 and 8 inches, atmospheric pressure and soil moisture. Data from the stations are summarized at 15-minute intervals, and at midnight, a computer on the UGA Griffin campus calculates a daily summary of that information.The National Weather Service has a weather tracking system, but according to Knox, severe weather is often “localized,” which makes UGA’s data especially valuable. In the case of the recent hurricane, the National Weather service relied on the wind speed and pressure data from UGA. The service has also used the stations’ precipitation data during flash flooding events.“During Hurricane Michael, the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Hurricane Center all wanted our data, and they wanted it yesterday,” Knox said. “We were getting bombed with requests and our weather network was the only one reliably operating in the area being hit by the hurricane.”For meteorologists and climatologists, the more data you can get, the better, Knox said. During Hurricane Michael, the UGA stations were some of the only sources of data in more remote parts of the state. One of the automated stations in Donalsville in Seminole County recorded the strongest gust of wind measured in Georgia during the storm. The 115 mph gust will be included in the final storm report put out by the National Hurricane Center, and it may not have been recorded except for the UGA station.The morning of Oct. 11, after Hurricane Michael had traveled across southeast Georgia, all but two of the stations were online and operating normally.“The stations themselves were fine, but cell service in the area was disrupted and we could not communicate with the stations until it came back online,” Knox said. “Fortunately, we were able to recover the full datasets from those stations once communication was restored.”The weather station in Sasser lost its wind vane and a power outage on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia, where the weather data is stored and analyzed, slowed down the ability to share data for a few hours, Knox said. Each weather station has a battery-operated backup system that can store up to four months of data.Knox attributes the weather stations’ success to equipment and personnel. The stations use solar panels which limited disruptions due to power outages, a widespread problem along Hurricane Michael’s path.“The UGA support staff who keep the network running did an outstanding job taking care of problems as soon as they happened,” she said.UGA contracts with Earth Networks, the world’s largest weather observation and detection network, to share the network’s data. Bill Callahan, vice president of federal programs for Earth Networks, says data from the UGA weather network is critical daily and during large impact weather events. “Weather impacts every segment of our nation’s economy and is key to promoting safety, efficiency, continuity and productivity,” he said. “The University of Georgia has been a strong partner in the National Mesonet Program since its inception a decade ago, and we look forward to continuing to extend that relationship going forward.”The National Mesonet Program is an observational weather network funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.UGA weather data is in high demand, but Knox says the system runs “on a shoestring budget” with the largest expense being personnel. Each weather station costs $12,000 to establish and about $2,000 a year to maintain. Knox and five UGA employees make up the weather station staff. Several commodity groups contribute to the cost of running the network, she said.For more information on the weather network, visit www.weather.uga.edu.last_img read more

Global coal power plant pipeline dropped 16% in 2019 new report shows

first_imgGlobal coal power plant pipeline dropped 16% in 2019 new report shows FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Global coal power plant development declined for the fourth year running in 2019, while a total of 13 gigawatts (GW) of capacity construction has been delayed so far this year due to the coronavirus, research by environmental organizations shows.The annual survey of the global coal plant pipeline by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace International, the Sierra Club and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air showed a 16% drop last year in capacity under construction and development.This year, 15 plants with a total capacity of 13 GW have so far been delayed by workforce or supply chain issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.However, China’s approval of permits for coal plants has increased in an effort to stimulate its economy. From March 1 to 18 this year, China approved more coal-fired capacity for construction (6.6 GW) than during all of 2019 (6.3 GW).Outside of China, the global coal fleet overall shrank for the second year in a row as retirements exceeded commissioning. Globally, the amount of power generated from coal in 2019 declined by 3% compared with 2018, with coal plants now operating at an average 51% of their available operating hours, which is a record low.New coal plant developers face increasingly difficult conditions as restrictions on investment have come from banks and insurers, as well as government commitments to phase out coal.[Nina Chestney]More: Global coal plant development fell for fourth year running in 2019: researchlast_img read more

India’s power minister says retiring coal plants will be replaced by renewable energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:India is planning to replace retiring coal-fired power plants with renewable generating capacity in a bid to cut the nation’s carbon footprint, power minister R. K. Singh said on Tuesday.India is the world’s second largest coal consumer after China, and the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Coal-fired plants currently account for over half its nearly 373 gigawatt (GW) power generating capacity.“Many of those plants are getting retired,” Singh said at an industry event. “Some plants are already retired, and about 29 more plants are going to retire, and all that space will be occupied by renewable energy.”India, which aims to meet 40% of its energy requirement from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, is targeting 175 GW of renewable-based installed power capacity by 2022.It currently relies on cheaper imports, mainly from China, to meet the bulk of its demand for solar cells and modules. India’s current annual installed and functional manufacturing capacity of solar modules is around 10 GW while that of solar cells is only around 2.5 GW, the minister said.“We plan to raise this capacity to around 25 GW per annum for solar cells and modules in another two years’ time,” he said.[Nidhi Verma and Mayank Bhardwaj]More: India to replace coal fired power plants with renewables – minister India’s power minister says retiring coal plants will be replaced by renewable energylast_img read more

Ethics panel examines lawyers acting as mortgage brokers

first_imgEthics panel examines lawyers acting as mortgage brokers Ethics panel examines lawyers acting as mortgage brokers Also says lawyers should be able to use paralegals to represent clients in Social Security hearings Gary Blankenship Senior Editor A lawyer should be able to act as a mortgage broker for clients who, after filing and following a bankruptcy plan for several months, wish to refinance their home and use the proceeds to pay off their bankruptcy obligations, the Professional Ethics Committee has tentatively decided.And lawyers should be able to use paralegals to represent clients in Social Security hearings as long as they are careful not to violate Bar rules on supervising nonlawyer employees and prohibiting fee splitting with nonlawyers, the panel determined.Ft. Lauderdale attorney Jeffrey Tromberg posed the mortgage broker question to the committee. He told the committee the refinancing comes only after all the bankruptcy work is done and wouldn’t affect the initial bankruptcy work because there is no way to tell them whether refinancing would be available later.The refinancing is frequently possible because of the recent rapid rise in Florida home values which gives those in bankruptcy an unexpected source of capital. Tromberg said he began his brokerage business because he saw clients paying exorbitant fees to brokers when they refinanced, which either raised the costs to the clients or gave them less money from the deal.“Lenders won’t touch them [prior to bankruptcy] when they’re in foreclosure; they will after they’ve been in bankruptcy for 12 months or so,” Tromberg said. “This particular niche is to help people who are in a five-year bankruptcy plan to have the ability to get out of bankruptcy. It gives them the equity so they can get out of bankruptcy and move on with their lives.”He originally asked for a Bar staff ethics counsel opinion on two points: whether he could own the mortgage brokerage company that in turn served his own clients and whether his disclosure and waiver of conflict form was adequate. The Bar staff opinion answered no to both questions, and Tromberg appealed to the committee.In response to committee questions, Tromberg said the mortgage work would only occur several months to a year or more after the bankruptcy plan was filed — and the case is essentially dormant unless the clients fail to follow the plan. He also noted that the staff opinion means his company can provide cut-rate mortgage services to anyone in bankruptcy, except his own law practice clients.Some committee members argued Tromberg would have an unwaivable conflict and might be in the position of advising clients whether or not they should refinance when he had an interest in the outcome. But other members said the Bar encourages lawyers to have ancillary businesses, and as long as adequate disclosures are made and the transaction proceeded in the limited way Tromberg described, it should be allowed.The committee approved a motion by member Adele Stone to have the staff opinion redrafted that would answer Tromberg’s questions affirmatively. The opinion would be restricted to the narrow facts of the case and require that clients be told they had the option to seek independent counsel on the mortgage refinancing. The committee sent the matter to a subcommittee for redrafting, and also asked the subcommittee to recommend whether the opinion should be a redrafted staff opinion or become a proposed advisory opinion from the committee.The committee also overturned a staff opinion on the Social Security issue. It voted to issue an opinion that an attorney could use a paralegal to cover Social Security hearings, as long as the paralegal was paid a salary and fees weren’t split. The opinion will also reference Bar Rule 4-5.3, which spells out a lawyer’s duties in supervising nonlawyer employees.Supporters of that vote noted that the Social Security Administration allows nonlawyers to represent others in administrative hearings and that fee splitting is not involved if the fee goes to the firm and not the paralegal. Opponents said clients could think they are hiring an attorney when their case winds up being handled by a paralegal and it would be hard not to base the paralegal’s compensation on performance at the hearings, which could lead to fee splitting.On another matter, the committee asked for an update on policies of when lawyers can be of counsel to law firms. Some members said they had objections to saying one law firm could be of counsel to another. The PEC had referred that matter to the Bar Board of Governors, but the Disciplinary Procedure Committee voted against having a rule on of counsel relationships, and the matter died. August 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Are Americans really that bad with money?

first_imgAmericans, they have so much debt. They have so few affordable housing options. They have such spotty retirement-savings programs.So much, so few, but is it any worse than anywhere else? Other rich nations keep good records of similar statistics, enabling researchers to answer an important question: Which financial habits are American anomalies, and which are present in nearly every other developed country? Or, to put the question in a less exceptionalist way: What is it about certain countries’ economies that encourage some tendencies while stifling others?As economists have studied the habits of households around the world, they’ve found two personal-finance patterns that are virtually universal in the developed world. The first is that across countries, higher income, wealth, and education are associated with investing in the stock market. And the second is that people make the wisest financial decisions after they emerge from early adulthood and before they grow old. continue reading » 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Local heroes make good

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Fund manager rules ‘will hurt margins and boost passives’

first_imgThis would in turn have a negative impact on asset managers’ credit ratings, it said.“Active managers… will have to overhaul their cost structures and product lineup or merge to offset the pressure on revenue and generate economies of scale”Moody’sThe final rules from the FCA on governance will take effect on 30 September 2019, while rules forcing managers to return profits made from trading fund units (known as box profits) will come into force on 1 April next year.“Active managers that have been experiencing an increase in operating and compliance costs following a number of local and global regulatory initiatives will have to overhaul their cost structures and product lineup or merge to offset the pressure on revenue and generate economies of scale,” Moody’s said.The additional rules on delivering value to investors would reduce the fees charged by active managers as they would have to adapt their business models and product offerings to an even more competitive pricing environment, the agency added. Asset managers that provided the best value-for-money services would probably consolidate their market share as a result of the regulatory change.“Bigger players with solid governance standards and diverse solutions in both active and passive management, such as [Fidelity] and BlackRock, will be best positioned to absorb the additional regulatory pressures,” Moody’s said.“The introduction of these rules will increase fee and cost transparency, making the pricing of active funds more competitive and accelerating the shift to passive products.” UK active asset managers will see their profit margins reduced by rules published last week by the country’s financial regulator, according to analysis by Moody’s Investors Service.The credit rating agency also said the industry’s prevailing shift towards index-based investment would hasten as a result of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) actions.The FCA set out a series of rules last Thursday for the country’s £8trn (€9.2trn) asset management sector, requesting firms to act in the best interests of the investors in their funds.Moody’s said: “Although the new rules enhance transparency and protection for investors, active asset managers’ operating and compliance costs will increase and their fees will decline, reducing profit margins and accelerating the shift toward passive investment management.”last_img read more

Duterte says ‘sorry’ to Robredo for believing ‘fake news’ on UN probers

first_img“So basahinlang niya iyan, it is all there and that is where she would exercise herduties, kung meron,” he said. “Ako di pa siya nagtatrabaho nang husto,I have yet to see her (Robredo) working as an ICAD chair and there’s a productof discussion.”/PN Duterte added that Robredo’s mandate asco-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) was in theexecutive order creating it. President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairman of the government’s anti-drug campaign on Oct. 31. Robredo accepted her appointment on Nov. 6, much to the surprise of many, especially her allies in the political opposition, who have advised her against taking on the assignment. ABS-CBN NEWS The President has earlier warned that hewill slap a human rights advocate in front of Robredo but the latter quicklyclarified that she only met with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and officersof the United States Embassy. MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte hasapologized to Vice President Leni Robredo for believing a “fake news” that shehad invited a United Nations (UN) prosecutor to look into his administration’swar on drugs. Despite apologizing, President Dutertesaid that he still cannot trust Robredo, who he recently appointed as co-chairof the administration’s anti-narcotics body, since she was from the opposition. He discovered that the information wasnot true upon watching a news report with Robredo directly denying theallegation. “If she says that’s false news, Ibelieve her. And I am sorry because I said you only realize that it is falsenews when the news comes out. And you hear it and you talk about it, you reactto it, that is the problem,” Duterte told reporters in an interview onSaturday. “There can never be a trust that can benurtured between the two of us for the simple reason that Leni Robredo is withthe opposition, ako andito sa kabila,”said Duterte. last_img read more

IMCA points, All-Star race bonus pay on the line at Park Jefferson’s Iron Cup

first_imgJEFFERSON, S.D. – A pair of Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying features for IMCA Modifieds are on the Sept. 14 and 15 Iron Cup schedule at Park Jefferson Speedway.IMCA Modifieds run for $1,000 to win and $140 to start on Friday in the makeup event for the Sjogrensen Winery bonus. IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars both race for $600 to win while Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks race for $400 to win and Mach-1 Sport Compacts for $100 to win on opening night of the fifth annual special.Top checks on Saturday are $1,000 for the Modi­fieds, Sprint Cars and Stock Cars, $700 for the Northern SportMods and Hobby Stocks and $300 for the Sport Com­pacts.Both Modified features are qualifiers for the 2019 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Two hundred dollar bonuses will be paid to feature winners with perfect attendance and for previous winners this sea­son; winning drivers who competed at Park Jeff this season are also eligible for another $100 bonus.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, re­gional and South Dakota State points, but no track points will be awarded.Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday and at 4 p.m. Saturday.Pit passes are $35. Spectator admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students ages 6-16. Club­house passes will also be available for an additional $12.More information is available at the www.parkjeff.com website. The Iron Cup is presented by J & J Fitting and free camping is available at the track.last_img read more

Mary Jane Miller

first_imgMary Jane Miller, 90, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Thursday April 18, 2019 at her home.She was born November 25, 1928 in San Jose, CA, daughter of the late Harry Moore and Elsie (Helwig) Moore.She was a graduate of Kansas State University. Mary Jane served her country as a member of the United States Navy. She was a member of American Legion Auxiliary and a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Aurora, Indiana.She worked as a School Teacher for South Dearborn School District, retiring after over 40 years of service.Mary was an avid reader. She enjoyed baking, playing cards and she also enjoyed walking. Mary was raised on a farm in Oswego, Kansas. She loved her dogs, Abby and Maggie, and she loved spending time with her family. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.Mary is survived by her children, Michael (Pamela) Miller of Aurora, IN, David Miller of Aurora, IN, John (Marianne) Miller of Burlington, KY, Tim (Holli) Miller of Aurora, IN, Susie (Bobby) Higgins of Aurora, IN; grandchildren, Jeffrey, Cole, Hannah, Bria, and Sarah Miller, Austin Yauger, Tiffany Miller, Braden (Kaylie)  Perkins, Austin, and Olivia Miller, Serena Thurmond, Bradley (Brittany) Higgins; 12 great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack W. Miller, and sisters, Margaret Nettleton, and Dorothy Mosler.Friends will be received Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church Aurora, 215 Fourth Street, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at First Presbyterian Church Aurora, 215 Fourth Street, Wednesday April 24, 2019 at 11:00 am with officiating.Interment will follow in the River View Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana. Military services will be conducted by members of local Veterans Service Organizations.Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church Aurora or Aurora Life Squad. If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more