Category: msubjfsl

Category: msubjfsl

first_imgStratospheric change associated with the Antarctic ozone hole is clearly implicated in changing surface climate near 65°S in late summer, in both measurements and models, via downward propagation of height anomalies following the final warming. But one of the largest changes in surface temperature in Antarctica has occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula at 60 to 65°S in winter, and most of the change at 65°S occurred before the ozone hole. Stratospheric change can cause tropospheric change in Antarctic winter by modifying the reflection and refraction of planetary waves, whereby a stronger stratospheric vortex moves the tropospheric jets polewards, which can modify the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in surface pressure that forces the tropospheric circumpolar winds. We examine stratospheric influence on the SAM in winter by inter-annual correlation of the SAM with the solar-cycle and volcanic aerosols, which act to change forcing of the stratospheric vortex in winter. Correlations are a maximum in June (midwinter) and are significant then, but are poor averaged over winter months. Hence the potential of change in the stratosphere to change Antarctic tropospheric climate in winter by dynamical means is low. This negative result is important given the proven high potential for change in summer by dynamical means.last_img read more


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first_imgAccurate models of past Antarctic ice sheet behaviour require realistic reconstructions of the evolution of bedrock topography. However, other than a preliminary attempt to reconstruct Antarctic topography at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary, the long-term evolution of Antarctica’s subglacial topography throughout its glacial history has not previously been quantified. Here, we derive new reconstructions of Antarctic topography for four key time slices in Antarctica’s climate and glacial history: the Eocene–Oligocene boundary (ca. 34 Ma), the Oligocene–Miocene boundary (ca. 23 Ma), the mid-Miocene climate transition (ca. 14 Ma), and the mid-Pliocene warm period (ca. 3.5 Ma). To reconstruct past topography, we consider a series of processes including ice sheet loading, volcanism, thermal subsidence, horizontal plate motion, erosion, sedimentation and flexural isostatic adjustment, and validate our models where possible using onshore and offshore geological constraints. Our reconstructions show that the land area of Antarctica situated above sea level was ~25% larger at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary than at the present-day. Offshore sediment records and terrestrial constraints indicate that the incision of deep subglacial topographic troughs around the margin of East Antarctica occurred predominantly in the Oligocene and early Miocene, whereas in West Antarctica erosion and sedimentation rates accelerated after the mid-Miocene. Changes to the topography after the mid-Pliocene were comparatively minor. Our new palaeotopography reconstructions provide a critical boundary condition for models seeking to understand past behaviour of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and have implications for estimating changes in global ice volume, temperature, and sea level across major Cenozoic climate transitions.last_img read more


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first_imgThe march of City cash into the private rental market has taken a step forward after IMMO, a start-up that buys properties directly off vendors on behalf of institutional investors, was yesterday given a staggering £10 million by half a dozen venture capital funds, and has so far helped attract house buying funds worth £60 million.Talis, one of the funds, says IMMO has the potential to become a global ‘mega brand’ by using technology to ‘unlock the opportunity’ for institutional investors in the resales market.To date, City cash has steered clear of the market served by estate agents because of the difficulties of acquiring properties quickly and cheaply.IMMO, which operates in the UK and Germany, is to buy thousands of houses direct from private vendors and then refurbish them for upmarket tenants in areas that are ‘safe neighbourhoods with great transport’.Buy housesThe proptech company claims that its tech platform enables it to source, appraise and buy houses and apartments digitally.IMMO’s new money has come from a variety of European property and tech investors and is to be spent on accelerating growth.The company was launched two years ago by Hans-Christian Zappel (above, fourth from left) and Avinav Nigam (above, second from left).“Selling a property is the biggest and often most stressful transaction in our lives,” says Zappel. “When selling to IMMO, customers enjoy a chain-free, professional experience that is fast, reliable, transparent and convenient.“We offer attractive prices without charging fees and enable home sellers to plan their lives around this important transaction.”The company is currently hiring for some 30 staff in the UK and Germany including an in-house property management team.IMMO Talis Hans-Christian Zappel Avinav Nigam. proptech November 12, 2019Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 12th November 2019 at 7:12 amGiven that the government has done all it can to squeeze the private landlord out of the market, the list of recent counter measures is a long one and often discussed, in principal major investors buying into the rental sector seems a logical conclusion. But, it will be interesting to see where IMMO goes with this.Back in the 1990’s I remember driving around in my car with a gentleman looking to buy 20 properties in my town that day for an institution who had money to invest. We looked at about half the stock that my agency had to sell and he bought about a dozen, six of which he had never seen. He / they exchanged and completed on every deal and the price paid was full and fair market price.So, the experience was a good one, for me, the vendors and the buyer. I just wonder can you buy second hand property on an industrial scale, would the build to rent sector not be a better route, than refurbishing crumbling Victorian villas? This seems a strange strategy.I had forseen, more pension funds being sunk into the rental market, and that may well happen.It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and what sector of the market IMMO will be investing in. £60M sounds a lot but if average sale price is £250,000, that is probably 220 rentals, with the other cash left over to run the scheme and cover stamp duty, conveyancing and the team that is running the show.Also, 220 rentals what rental would they need to achieve to make the figures stack up – thoughts anyone? On the positive capital growth is certainly a factor as well, those flats I sold for £32,000 in 1996 are now selling for £195,000 25-years down the line.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Resale property investment platform helps raise £60m to buy ‘thousands’ of homes previous nextProptechResale property investment platform helps raise £60m to buy ‘thousands’ of homesLondon-based IMMO says its technology will make buying resale homes efficient enough to unlock the market for institutional investors.Nigel Lewis12th November 20191 Comment1,008 Viewslast_img read more


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first_img View post tag: middle east Sailors from tanker RFA Wave Knight saved all ten people aboard a stricken pleasure craft off Oman in a dramatic night-time rescue. The 70ft Princess Melisa was taking on water and in danger of capsizing in the northern Arabian Sea when the auxiliary came to her aid.All ten souls aboard her were plucked to safety by the crew of the tanker RFA Wave Knight as they rushed to respond to the boat’s mayday call in the dark on Saturday night.The tanker, which provides fuel and sustenance to Royal Navy and other Coalition warships operating in the region, was the first vessel on the scene, co-ordinating with two SH60 Seahawk helicopters from the American carrier USS John C Stennis.They found the 70ft Princess Melisa taking on water and in danger of capsizing in rough seas after her hull was holed.Wave Knight’s boat recovered the captain and his nine crew of Indians and Kenyans. They were subsequently transferred to an Omani Coast Guard vessel off the country’s north-east coast.The tanker’s Commanding Officer Capt Chris Clarke RFA said the Princess Melisa’s crew were safe and generally well, albeit a little shell-shocked after their ordeal.“Once again, the mettle and stamina of my ship’s company has shone through,” he added. “This was another highly-professional job, executed in challenging circumstances. They should feel very proud of themselves.”[mappress]Naval Today Staff, January 17, 2012; Image: Royal Navy January 17, 2012 View post tag: Pleasure View post tag: Oman View post tag: Stricken View post tag: all View post tag: News by topic View post tag: save Share this article View post tag: Navy View post tag: Wave Knight View post tag: crew Back to overview,Home naval-today Oman: Wave Knight Sailors Save All Crew from Stricken Pleasure Craft View post tag: craft View post tag: sailors Oman: Wave Knight Sailors Save All Crew from Stricken Pleasure Craftlast_img read more


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first_imgLast night, jam-grass favorites Greensky Bluegrass continued their fall tour with their first-ever show at beloved Port Chester, NY venue The Capitol Theatre. After an opening set from fellow bluegrass group Cabinet, Greensky took the stage for a stand-out performance stacked with covers of classic tunes by Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, as well as a rousing performance of American gospel standard “Working On A Building” with help from Cabinet’s JP Biondo (mandolin) & Pappy Biondo (banjo).You can watch videos from the show below courtesy of YouTube user Sean Roche, and stream the full show audio thanks to archive.org user taperjeff!I’d Probably Kill YouMiss SeptemberWorking On A Building:Just To Lie > Past My TimeCassidy > Cryptical Envelopment > The Other OneWindshieldBlack Muddy River Greensky Bluegrass @ The Capitol Theatre 9/17/16:Set 1:I’d Probably Kill YouWorried About The Weather >Foxey Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover) >Clinch Mtn BackstepMiss SeptemberRadio BluesWorking On A Building $Just To Lie (1) >Past My PrimeLiving OverSet 2:Cassidy (GD cover)>Cryptical Envelopment (GD cover)>The Other One (GD cover)>Cassidy (GD cover)Dustbowl Overtures (2)WindshieldBurn ThemReverendWings For WheelsBroke Mountain Breakdown (3) >Leap YearEncore:Merely AvoidingBlack Muddy River (GD cover)$ – w/ JP Biondo (mandolin) & Pappy Biondo (banjo)(1) – w/ Foxey Lady quotes(2) – shakedown tease in intro(3) – working on a building teaselast_img read more


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first_imgGreensky Bluegrass strolled through George’s Majestic Lounge on Wednesday night in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The band’s development as a tight-knit, outstanding explosion of musicianship has been noted over the years as they’ve honed their craft since founding in 2000, and Wednesday night’s show proved why they are becoming one of the most talked about jamgrass acts in the scene.GSBG opened Wednesday’s show with a fast-paced “Into the Rafters,” which first appeared on their 2008 album Five Interstates. After an all-business dobro-mandolin duet, Anders Beck and mandolinist/lead vocalist Paul Hoffman closed it out, efficiently moving onto “The Four.” The track features a fantastic signature dobro lick, and some catchy lyrics: “I keep digging holes in someone else’s ditch; I’m looking for apples but they’re all in the trees. Somebody help me cause I can’t be saved; But I haven’t done anything I can’t name…” The backup vocals on the repeating chorus toward the end were a nice touch.Guitarist and vocalist Dave Bruzza took over on the mic for “Room Without a Roof,” a hearty, melancholy, wistful-feeling track. The song appears on the latest album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, released in September on the band’s label, Big Blue Zoo.After a rousing “Gumboots” and another new track called “Merely Avoiding,” Bruzza stepped back up to sing “Worried About the Weather,” revealing a sort of Dylan-esque vocal pattern. It felt comfortable, as his voice does; like the 30-year-old aural memory of your ultra-talented great uncle Who-Almost-Made-The-Bigtime-In-Nashville singing in the living room with your dad at midnight while you’re pretending to sleep upstairs.The instrumental jam in “Weather” was outstanding as well, with the mando and dobro volleying back and forth in a chemistry-packed pickin’ battle, tight as could be. The crescendo that culminated with full-group, high-speed pickin-heavy jam was exhilarating — the first of many similar instances during the night. Shortly after, the sound levels crept back down to just a dobro solo during which Beck flexed some muscle, showing off some mad skills and even incorporating some wah-wah pedal effects.After a short singalong on “Casual Wednesday,” the evening’s opening act, Joshua Davis from television’s “The Voice,” came out for a couple of songs. He played guitar on “Wild Bill Young,” and then also sang lead on “Last Winter in the Copper Country,” which turned into a 12-minute jam session and was enjoyable, while also a little different.The closer for GSBG’s 85-minute first set was “Can’t Stop Now,” played at breakneck pace with the banjo leading loud and proud on the fast rhythm and the mandolin stealing the spotlight with some great melodic licks. Hoffman, at this point, was fully in the moment; I daresay Ricky Skaggs would’ve been proud. Beck slayed again with a mean, extended dobro solo that felt reckless yet free, like driving down the highway with the windows down, hair all a mess, doing 95 MPH with no seatbelt.Second set kicked off with “What’s Left of the Night,” featuring great lead vocals by Hoffman, and Beck’s dobro standing out again, discreetly taking the lead in a song filled with longing and love. The banjo solo by Michael Arlen Bont on this track was excellent and thrilling; and then Beck took over again, and he busted out some new-for-this-night effects that had his dobro sounding more like Robert Randolph’s rock-and-roll-funk pedal steel. Hoffman followed it up with a psychedelic mando solo, playful but gentle as the song slowed down to a close after 14 minutes — the second-longest track of the evening.Next was a crowd-pleasing “Miss September,” followed by the traditional Stanley Brothers’ hit “Pig in a Pen,” made infamous through covers by Ricky Skaggs, Phish, Old and In the Way, Grateful Dead. Bruzza’s vocals sounded appropriately and impressively “Eastern Kentucky traditional mountain sound.”A couple songs later, GSBG’s “Break Mountain Brokedown” and its rhythmic, dance-inspiring lead melody, by primarily the dobro (and at times the guitar and the mando), mesmerized as much of the audience as any song managed to. The song featured a huge jam with pedals and some wah-wah and other funky dobro effects. Again, the dobro effects started getting more rock-and-roll toward the end of 15-minute long song, and it seamlessly blended into the beginning of a rocking rendition of “Walk Away” (by The James Gang/Joe Cocker). The guitar and dobro effects were perfect for the cover, particularly the driving rhythm and lead melody of the intro and chorus.Shortly after came the driving banjo leading on “Radio Blues,” featuring the best vocals of the night by Bruzza, with great enunciation and tone. The track included fascinating dobro and guitar solos that — even at this late point in the show — demanded closer attention and visual connection.Next came a quiet, gradual intro, as is typical, to GSBG crowd fave “Windshield.” The audience finally was quiet and paying close attention as Hoffman captured them with his voice. The last song of the second set was “Run or Die,” with some gritty, hard-rock dobro effects and guitar-pickin’ calisthenics, while the mandolin kept a fiery pace going on rhythm, even during a soft funky bass solo by Mike Devol. The solo grew into a driving, breakneck full-band jam led by Hoffman, channeling Jeff Austin / YMSB circa 2010 at Red Rocks: just going off, lost in his own internal high-speed-bluegrass universe.After revisiting the “this is the last Casual Wednesday” joke, the soulful, classic waltz encore kicked off, “Drink Up and Go Home,” which was originally recorded by Carl Perkins and later by Jimmy Martin, Bobby Bare, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, among others. If anyone ever sounded more like they’ve suffered heartbreak when they sang this tune, I sure haven’t heard it. Hoffman’s voice is so rich with emotion; it is refreshing and particularly impressive when you see it at shows again and again. It was indeed beautiful, moving and even provocative. Then, they tripled their tempo for a 45-second wrap-up jam, closing out the number and the night on a string of energetic high notes.You can check out photos from Greensky’s performance last night, courtesy of Jeremy Scott, plus the setlist, below.Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | George’s Majestic Lounge | Fayetteville, AR | 5/17/2017Set I: Into The Rafters, The Four, Room Without A Roof, Gumboots, Merely Avoiding, Worried About The Weather, *Casual Wednesday, *Wild Bill Jones, *Last Winter In Copper Country. Can’t Stop NowSet II: What’s Left Of The Night>Miss September, Pig In A Pen, Blood Sucking F(r)iends, Anders Banter Talk> Broke Mt. Breakdown>Walk Away>Down The Road>Broke Mt. Breakdown, The Radio Blues, Windshield, Run Or DieEncore: Casual Wednesday Reprise>Drink Up And Go Home>Broke Mt. Breakdown* with Joshua Davis Load remaining imageslast_img read more


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first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaIf Salmonella were a good thing, Georgia would have bragging rights. The number of cases reported in the state is much higher than the national average.Areas in south Georgia have an unusually high number of cases. And often public health officials haven’t found a foodborne source.”If it’s not coming from food, then chances are the source is water,” said Erin Lipp, a University of Georgia environmental microbiologist.Lipp is the lead scientist in a group studying whether waterborne bacteria levels, specifically Salmonella and Campylobacter, rise in Georgia watersheds during periods of heavy rain.We’re No. 1Salmonella is one of the top three causes of diarrhea in the United States. Georgia ranks No. 1 in reported cases among the 10 states taking part in FoodNet, a surveillance system by which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitor major sources of U.S. foodborne illnesses.Diarrhea may seem a small concern to people with effective medicines. But worldwide, it kills an estimated 3 million people, mostly children, each year. Waterborne bacterial infections may account for half of the deaths, according to the CDC.Contaminated water is an obvious problem in developing countries with little or no water treatment. But researchers suspect many U.S. diarrhea cases may be waterborne, too, despite modern water treatment systems.Weather connectionAnd outbreaks due to waterborne pathogens may be connected to the weather.If a correlation could be mapped out between rainfall and bacteria outbreaks, scientists could predict outbreaks.”Both human sewage and agricultural runoff contribute to the waterborne incidence of diseases like Salmonella and Campylobacter,” Lipp said.To study the problem, Lipp got a $600,000 grant from a partnership among the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation and Electric Power Research Institute.Dana Cole, a UGA epidemiologist in large-animal medicine, and researchers at the University of Arizona and the Georgia Division of Public Health will work with Lipp.Rates riseSalmonella rates in humans rise in late summer, Lipp said, when rains usually increase.The scientists will use data collected since 1948 to retrace El Niño events along with precipitation and streamflow in Georgia to create a historical weather model.El Niño is a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific that affects weather worldwide. It increases rainfall across the southern United States. The historical weather model will be used to pinpoint local areas that may be strongly affected by El Niño, Lipp said.”Among the predicted global climate-change scenarios is an increase in storm activity,” Lipp said. “Therefore, we can use El Niño as a proxy for climate change.Significant changes”We’ll be looking for significant changes in Georgia weather associated with El Niño, including significant increases in rainfall,” she said. “Then we’ll look for human outbreaks of Salmonella and Campylobacter associated with those increases.”The final step will be to “match bacteria collected from the environment with those taken from patients, using genetic fingerprinting,” Lipp said.Lipp first became interested in the connection between weather patterns and human pathogens while she was doing research in the pristine waters of Charlotte Harbor in southwest Florida.Surprising discoveryIt was 1998, El Niño was in effect and December rainfall was unusually high. While examining microbes in open shellfish beds, she discovered surprising data: Infectious human viruses were in 75 percent of the water stations they were monitoring.Detection of these viruses was highly correlated with the amount of rain that fell during the week before the samples were collected. And the high rainfall amounts were due to El Niño, Lipp said.”We suspected that water treatment plants and septic systems were failing due to the increase in rainfall,” she said.Because Salmonella and Campylobacter rates go up in certain seasons, she added, researchers have suspected a link between climate and bacteria for some time.(Cat Holmes is a science writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more


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first_imgCompetition keeps population downThat hasn’t been the case. Ipser has found that native antspecies actually help keep down fire ant populations by competingwith them.UGA entomologists now plan to compare chemical pesticidetreatments to determine how they affect both native ant and fireant populations.”People need to realize that killing all ants isn’t the bestmethod from an environmental or an economical standpoint,” Ipsersaid. “Conserving forests is one of several variables that willhelp control fire ants, too. Overall, management of pests needsto be more biologically than chemically based.”When buying pesticides to kill ants or any other insects, hesaid, select a product that’s been formulated for that insect.”For fire ants, make sure the pesticide is targeted for exoticants,” he said. Fire ants like open areasSo does this explain why fire ant mounds are commonly seen inopen areas like pastures?”When the environment is simplified, like in clear-cut, openfields, there are fewer species due to fewer available niches,”Ipser said. “Native ants don’t thrive in that kind ofenvironment, and fire ants do.”Fire ants naturally thrive in open environments because there’sless competition from native ants that prefer woodedenvironments, he said.In wooded areas, fire ants have to fight against other antspecies when foraging for food and establishing nesting sites,Ipser said.”When fire ants were first found in the United States, everyonethought they were going to wipe out all other ant species becausetheir natural enemies were back home in South America,” he said. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaIf you decide to take a hike through the Georgia wilderness, youmay have to fight off ticks and chiggers along the way. But arecent University of Georgia study shows you shouldn’t have toworry about fire ants.Reid Ipser, an entomology graduate student with the UGA Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, recently completed astudy of ant habitats. For a year, he scouted sites in Georgia’sIndian Springs and High Falls state parks.”The state parks were the perfect locations for this study asthey contain both open fields and undisturbed wooded areas,”Ipser said.He collected ant species for a year and was surprised to findthat he never caught a red imported fire ant in a wooded testsite. Yet he collected native ants in abundance in the woodedtest sites.In the open-field test sites, Ipser collected many more fire antsthan native ants.center_img Don’t kill all antsIf you have ants in your lawn that aren’t fire ants and aren’tcoming indoors, Ipser suggests leaving them alone.”If the circumference of the ant bed is the size of a quarter ora silver dollar, they aren’t pest ants,” he said. “These don’tcause ecological damage. They don’t sting. But they do competewith exotic ants like fire ants and Argentine ants.”Like the red imported fire ant, the Argentine ant is an exoticant. But it doesn’t sting.”If you find little black ants in your dishwasher, they are mostlikely Argentine ants,” Ipser said. Argentine ants typically nestnear the trunks of trees and don’t create high mounds.last_img read more


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first_imgWheat prices are down, and wheat acreage in Georgia is dropping.To boost the state’s wheat industry and help producers get more out of their crop, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension small-grains specialist Reagan Noland is researching a dual-use system that would enable growers to use their wheat crop for grain and forage production.The dual-use system is common in Texas and Oklahoma and allows growers to use their wheat crop as a winter forage for grazing and for a grain harvest. The UGA study compares different seeding rates of winter wheat and measures forage yield and subsequent grain yield. Seeding rate guidelines for grain and forage production are available, but not for the dual-use system.“Supplemental forages are often needed in the winter. This wheat management approach enables farmers to provide their cattle with good, quality forage,” Noland said. “Economically, it’s a challenge to grow wheat right now. Hopefully, this method can help farmers gain the most out of their crop.”According to the 2017-18 Extension Wheat Production Guide, Georgia farmers planted 160,000 acres in the 2016-2017 season, which marked the third year the state’s wheat acreage declined. Growers only harvested 70,000 acres, or 43 percent of the planted area, due to disease pressure and poor environmental conditions. The average yield was only 47 bushels per acre.An underwhelming 2016 financial market didn’t help farmers. In the production guide, prices were recorded as low as $4.05 a bushel. This marked the fifth year prices have declined. The price per bushel was $4.60 in 2015 and $5.35 in 2014.Adam Rabinowitz, UGA Extension economist, said prices are improving for the 2017 crop and will be closer to 2015 prices, mainly due to drought conditions in the Southern Plains.This year’s cold weather has been a boon for Georgia’s wheat producers. In recent years, poor vernalization, or flowering, has been one of Georgia wheat producers’ biggest problems. Wheat needs a period of cold temperatures for optimum reproductive growth and grain production in the spring.The past two winters have been extremely mild, and temperatures rarely dropped below freezing. That has not been the case this year.“With the extensive cold periods we experienced this winter, I am confident that the crop has had adequate vernalization, which sets us up for good yield potential this spring,” Noland said.Farmers should be prepared to manage diseases such as Fusarium head blight (FHB), or head scab, this spring, he said. Head scab causes yield loss, low test weights, low seed germination and mycotoxins that contaminate grain.For more information on FHB, read UGA Extension Circular 1066, “Identification and Control of Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) of Wheat in Georgia,” at extension.uga.edu/publications or visit the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative website at www.scabusa.org.last_img read more


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first_imgA new federal regulation from the U.S. Department of Education required states to identify persistently low-achieving schools in order to receive federal funding as part of the Statewide Fiscal Stabilization Fund allocations under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Vermont s long standing track record of providing a high quality education for our young people did not exempt us from the latest requirement from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to identify our 10 persistently low-achieving schools, said Rae Ann Knopf, Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Department of Education. Nor should it prevent us from providing those and other schools with much needed resources and supports to reach our most disadvantaged kids.The USED has allocated $8 million in additional school improvement funding for these schools in Vermont. Vermont s Department of Education identified these high-need schools using the 2008 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) scores for all students, and scores for those schools over the period that NECAP tests have been administered.Children who are receiving free and reduced lunch, who have disabilities, and who are English language learners (recent immigrants) typically struggle the most in the testing on reading and mathematics. These funds will provide additional resources to support the work of the educators in those schools to help all children succeed.The funds do come with conditions. For Vermont s 10 highest need schools to receive funds, they must be willing to embrace one of four strictly defined models for school improvement as laid out by the USED. The four models include closing the school, closing the school and reopening the school under a Charter or Education Management entity, replacing the principal and 50 percent of the teachers, or implementing a comprehensive transformation model which, if not already significantly underway within the last two years, would also necessitate replacing the principal and implementing systemic reform efforts in the coming years. An additional criterion for high schools was to identify any school with graduation rates below 60 percent for two years or more. Vermont has no high schools (as of January 2010) in this category.The 10 schools identified are Bridport Elementary School, Fair Haven High School, Johnson Elementary School, Mount Abraham Union High School, Northfield Elementary School, Otter Valley High School, Rutland High School, Windsor High School, Winooski High School and H.O. Wheeler Elementary School (since 2009 the Integrated Arts Academy). The schools identified still provide a quality education for the majority of their students, said Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca. In any other state, these schools would not have been identified. But our goal continues to be that all of our schools reach all of our students, and these funds provide an opportunity to further support the students that need it the most.###last_img read more


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