The Department for Transport’s commitment to the full HS2 network remains undiminished, Rail Minister Andrew Jones said today (11 February 2019).Speaking at the inaugural Transport for the North conference in Sheffield, the Minister set out his enthusiasm and ambition for Northern transport.The government is delivering an unprecedented investment – £13 billion in northern transport over 5 years – while also delivering on a manifesto commitment to build HS2.Setting out the benefits of HS2, Rail Minister Andrew Jones said: Already there are 7,000 jobs supported by the programme; already over 2,000 businesses have HS2 contracts; and already the diggers are on the ground in Birmingham. Building has started. And in case you have seen any recent newspaper stories claiming that the northern stages of HS2 might not be built – they are complete nonsense. HS2 was conceived, developed and is now being delivered as a national railway – but in particular to improve links for the north and midlands. So our commitment to HS2, the full network to Manchester and Leeds, remains undiminished. As the Secretary of State said recently, to do otherwise would be a betrayal of the north. Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Switchboard 0300 330 3000 HS2 and major projects media enquiries Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 As part of the same conference, Transport for the North also stressed the importance of HS2 to the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Appalachian Trail hiker Christopher Lebel, 38, of Phippsburg, wrapped in a sleeping bag, walks out with assistance by rescuers through the woods to a waiting ATV. (Maine Warden Service photo)WELD – With the weather is still very much like winter on Maine’s mountains, emergency personnel were called Saturday night to rescue multiple people who were unprepared to hike in below freezing temperatures.The Maine Warden Service and emergency service personnel rescued one stranded family on Tumbledown Mountain in Weld, and in a separate incident, one severely hypothermic Appalachian Trail hiker in Township E.Wardens and emergency service personnel rescued a hiker on the Appalachian Trail Saturday who, rescuers said, likely would not have survived the night after falling into the water.Christopher J. Lebel, 38, of Phippsburg was hiking south with his dog on the Appalachian Trail in Letter E Township when approximately four miles into his trip, he fell into the water.Lebel changed his clothes but was unable to get warm and became severely hypothermic with temperatures below freezing, winds blowing, and ice and snow on the ground. Lebel was able to text a friend that he needed help, who in turn contacted 911 at 9:42 p.m. Saturday night. Game wardens and rescuers were able to take an ATV to get closer, then hiked through the woods to reach Lebel.Rescuers found Lebel unable to walk when they reached him. Wardens started a fire, provided hot liquids and food to Lebel, and were able to re-warm him to the point that he was able to walk out of the woods to the waiting ATV at approximately 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning.“Lebel did not have appropriate clothing or hiking gear for this time of year,” said Sgt. Scott Thrasher of the Warden Service. “Had Lebel been unable to send a text for help, it is unlikely he would have survived the night in the woods.”The Maine Warden Service was assisted in the rescue by members of the Rangeley Fire Department, U.S. Border Patrol and North Star EMS. Lebel was not transported to a hospital.In Weld, a family of five was also rescued on Saturday night after they had become stranded on the summit of Tumbledown Mountain.The family, Don Lantona, 53, Meena Latona, 52, Connor Latona, 18, Meaghan Latona, 20, and Ashley Latona, 22, all of Freehold, N.J., had climbed to the top of Tumbledown Mountain on Saturday. Due to the snow and ice at the summit, they could not find the trailhead to descend back down the mountain.With the sun going down, improper clothing, and not enough food, water or lighting to attempt to climb down the mountain, they called 911 at 6:46 p.m.Game wardens and first responders hiked up the mountain, where it was windy with temperatures in the low 30s. Upon reaching the summit, rescuers found the family huddled together for warmth. After starting a fire and warming members of the family, rescuers and the family hiked back down the mountain, getting to the base of the mountain approximately at midnight.“This family was not prepared for the conditions they experienced on this hike. There still is ice snow, and sub-freezing temperatures on the trails of many Maine mountains,” Thrasher noted. “These conditions can be extremely dangerous for those who are unprepared.”The Warden Service was assisted by members of the Weld Fire Department and Franklin Search and Rescue.
Weary electric crews trudge onHydro One breaths second wind into restoration effortMore than three days after the first customer lost power in Friday’s ice storm, weary crews continue this morning to trudge through heavily forested areas, cutting away trees, replacing broken poles and putting up power lines, oftentimes feeling like they are rebuilding CV’s system, rather than making repairs.Eleven crews from Hydro One in Ontario, Canada today joined a historical restoration effort that has included collaboration with state and local government officials, and dozens of crews from other Vermont utilities and outside contractors. Crews have restored service to 32,200 of the 35,000 CVPS customers who lost power.”We are indebted to all the Vermont utilities, contract tree companies, and the crews from Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada that have come to our aid throughout this storm,” said Joe Kraus, CVPSs vice president for engineering, operations and customer service. “State and local government officials have been instrumental in working with us to clear roads, set up shelters for affected customers and get crews from Canada into the state.”Most customers in Windsor County will be back on by late this evening, but single customer outages and areas with extreme damage – especially the Wilmington, Readsboro, Wardsboro, Dover, Guilford area – will carry later into the week. Ice unloading and wind caused some additional outages Monday. Recovery in Windsor County was also hampered late Monday afternoon by a car-motorcycle accident that broke a pole in Londonderry.”This is a very long, but extremely aggressive restoration effort,” said Director of Engineering and System Operations Greg White, a 23-year veteran. “Everyone is pretty tired at this point, but each and every one of us, from the support staff to the dispatchers to the customer care staff to line and tree workers, will keep working until the last customer is restored.”More than 75 contract line crews and 50 tree crews from around Vermont, Michigan and Ontario, Canada are assisting CVPS. As other CVPS districts were cleaned up around the state, more crews converged on Windsor and Windham counties. More than 70 outside businesses, food establishments and municipal groups have also assisted CVPS.President Bob Young thanked every CVPS customers who has extended a hand in thanks, spoken a kind word to crews, or offered other support.”Orange, Windsor and Windham counties took an awful thrashing from this storm, but the people of these areas have demonstrated a resiliency unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Young said. “We appreciate folks continued patience as we do our best to return things to a sense of normalcy.”Check with an electricianCVPS reminded customers that while service lines or overhead wires that run from a pole to a house or business are the utilitys responsibility, the service cable that runs along the side of the house is the customer’s responsibility.If those service cables are damaged, customers should contact an electrician. The service bracket that attaches the service line to the house is generally maintained by CVPS. However, the weather head, attached to the service cable, which prevents water damage to the wiring, is maintained by the customer’s electrician.SAFETY FIRSTCVPS urges customers to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety in the wake of the storm. The company offered the following tips for safely coping with the outages:Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 30 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.If you waiting out the storm at your home without power, stay in contact with your neighbors. If you live alone, are HOMEBOUND, have LIFE-SUPPORT equipment, or live in a secluded area, stay in contact with a friend, relative or close neighbor.If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.Turn off all electrical appliances except one light so youll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.
THE DIRT is a weekly look at some of the most pressing outdoor news issues from around the Blue Ridge and Beyond.Wrong Bear Killed After Douthat State Park Bear AttackOfficial say the wrong black bear was euthanized after an attack in Douthat State Park that left Laurie Cooksey with a total of 28 stitches. The identity of the euthanized bear—which was tracked and killed less than 24 hours after Cooksey was attacked—was determined after wildlife biologist attempted to match saliva found on the victims clothes with that of the euthanized bear. The test results came up negative. The erroneous killing comes on the heels of a similar debacle in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Back in April the incorrect bear was killed as a response to the attack of a teenage hammock camper in the park’s backcountry.Previously Closed Virginia Waterways Now Open to Anglers, PaddlersGood news for Virginia paddlers and anglers! The Virginia Marine Resources commission has just opened 14 waterways across the state that were previously deemed unnavigable and therefore closed to the public. That includes the exceptional Johns Creek on the edge of the Roanoke Valley which has been off limits for over a decade.“Virginia paddlers have been working with leaders in the state to get better clarification over where people can paddle and cannot paddle,” said Kevin Colburn, the stewardship director for American Whitewater. “It’s not a change in law or a change in rules; it’s just the interpretation of a policy they’ve had for many years. With that change, it definitely brought some certainty to a place where there has been a lot of ambiguity for a long time.”The controversy behind Johns Creeks dates back to a king’s grant issued during colonial times. In the 1960s the grant was used a legal defense to sue a paddlers after he passed a private farm while navigating a stretch of the picturesque stream. Learn more here.Funding for Monogohela State Park and Others Set to ExpireThe critical funding that supports some of West Virginia’s most treasured natural areas is set to expire on September 30th. If the fund is allowed to expire some of the states most beloved parks and outdoor spaces could be sold off for private development and permanently lost to the public.“When you think of West Virginia as a state that is known as ‘wild and wonderful’ these are the places that define the landscape, and it’s hard to imagine what wild and wonderful would look like without the contribution of the land and water conservation fund,” said Mike Costello, executive director, West Virginia Wilderness Coalition. Learn more about this important issue here.
27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lacey Yasick Lacey is the Communications Manager for the National Credit Union Foundation. She works to develop and execute all communication efforts that support the Foundation’s national programs and engagement strategy.Lacey … Web: www.ncuf.coop Details Did you know that almost half of all Americans have no retirement savings at all? This is an alarmingly high amount of people who have not been able to plan for their future. This week is National Retirement Security Week, designated to helping people put themselves in control of their future finances. This important week sheds light on the problems American’s have in saving for retirement, and actions that can be taken to increase that statistic. One-third of the American population has an income of $28,000 or less, which makes it extremely difficult to save for retirement. With all the monthly expenses that people have such as rent/mortgage, groceries, and utilities, the one thing they can put off is retirement savings. One effective way to help credit union staff, members and those in your communities understand what life might be like after retirement is through the Foundation’s “Retire on Track” Retirement Fair program. This is a goal-oriented and interactive experience, similar to Reality Fairs for teens, that allows participants to imagine their life in the future to better focus on a present plan to get there. This program is designed to help members at all stages of their life, no matter what their current retirement savings situation may be. The fair encourages participants to think about the lifestyle they wish to maintain in retirement, and develop savings goals to help them where they want to be. These fairs can be conducted at your credit union, or can be done in your community through partnerships with local organizations. It is a powerful exercise that helps individuals at to understand where their finances should be upon retirement.The good news is, many people believe they will never have enough saved for retirement but they may be wrong. “Most retirement planners tell people they will need to save 80% of what they are earning before retirement,” said Mark Lynch, Senior Program Manager at the Foundation. “In reality, the average person only needs to save about 50%-60% of their income.”The reason for this lower percentage is the expenses that individuals are paying before they retire may no longer exist in retirement. For example, many people have their houses paid off, and they save costs associated with work such as gas, eating out for lunch, and wardrobe. One of the biggest reasons is actually saving for retirement itself! In the last few years working, many people cram to save 20% of their income for retirement. Another large reason is taxation, individuals who are in retirement pay a lot less in taxes.This information tells us that the real power of the Retirement Fair is that it helps people work out what their percentage is, depending on their circumstances. It helps credit union members, staff and others to get a really good picture of what they plan to do in retirement, and work back from there to see how much they need to save. While Retirement Fairs are a great tool for helping your members save for retirement, there are other ways to help members to save. A great example of one credit union who is doing great work to help people with retirement savings is Sunmark Federal Credit Union in New York. Sunmark FCU hosts “Speed Savings” events, where members and non-members can sign up in advance to attend the event. Set up like speed-dating, attendees visit different booths and learn about lending, insurance, mortgage and savings (including retirement) with Sunmark FCU. This is an experience designed to help those in attendance who may do their banking somewhere else to see how much the credit union can save them. If they have a positive experience, they can make an appointment to come back and talk with someone, especially with a retirement planner.So, if a non-member learns that the credit union could refinance their auto-loan and mortgage, saving them $150 per month, that is $150 that person could put towards retirement savings. This is a great way to help those who may not be saving enough for retirement, or saving any at all because of their monthly expenses. NARPP’s National Retirement Security Week has many resources to help you reach members of all ages in saving for retirement. Click here to see some of those resources. If you are interested in learning more about Retirement Fairs, you can watch this short video highlighting a fair and the impact it had on participants. You can also visit the Foundation’s website ncuf.coop to see how to download your own “Retire on Track” Guide and Materials. Together, we can work towards improving financial security for everyone.
Credit card programs are one of many areas where the credit union difference shines. Credit unions generally have lower interest rates and a responsible reputation, based on the comparatively low industry delinquency and charge-off rates reported by CUNA. It’s no wonder CU share of the market of revolving credit has almost doubled in the past decade (Federal Reserve’s G.19 Report). Has your credit union been part of this growth? Whether it has or not, taking time to regularly review and update your credit program can make the difference for you and your members. Below are three ways to enhance your credit card program and attract higher participation.1 – Strengthen Your Rewards Strategy Start pumping up your strategy with customized programs. Investigate possibilities like cash-back or charitable donation redemptions. Develop relationships with local merchants that offer redemption options. Don’t stop there! Travel rewards offer many options beyond traditional credits including free travel accident insurance and other perks like airport lounge access, late hotel checkout, and more. Review how you manage your programs. Do you set firm dates for promotions? Deadlines encourage members to take action. From our own experience with balance transfer promotions, we’ve noticed many instances where 50% of the transferred funds came in during the last two weeks of the campaign. 2 – Energize Your Marketing Efforts Achieve better focus by creating an annual marketing calendar. To reach new age demographics, concentrate on digital marketing efforts. By including financial tips and news on your site, you can reinforce your credit union’s reputation as a valuable resource. Keep your members updated with emails that address their specific needs. Many platforms exist that can help you gain insights into members’ interests and send them relevant messages.3 – Create Symbiotic Relationships – What Benefits Your Credit Union Can Also Benefit Your MembersIf you want to attract members to your credit program, few things are more important than a good rewards strategy, but challenges like interest rate caps, program costs, and fraud can make offering a competitive rewards program difficult. Fortunately, cost-free referral programs specially designed for credit unions are available. They handle the implementation process for credit unions, from underwriting and printing to delivering the plastic and managing the accounts. They even offer zero liability and monitoring to help protect against costly fraud. By reducing some of the costs and burdens, these partners help empower credit unions to offer competitive credit programs.A prime example of a credit card referral program providing high-levels of service to credit unions is the EZ Launch program offered by LSC®. No set-up fees and free marketing materials are only the start of what it offers. EZ Launch pays credit unions for referring the program to members! Is your credit union looking for a new provider or considering offering a credit card for the first time? Check out EZ Launch from LSC, where members benefit from competitive interest rates and a quality rewards program.https://www.cuna.org/uploadedFiles/Advocacy/Actions/Comment_Calls,_Letters_and_Testimonies/2019/Letters/2019%20CFPB%20Credit%20Card%20Market%20Review.pdfhttps://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/HIST/cc_hist_r_levels.html 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Phil Seely Phil is the Senior Director of Portfolio Development for LSC having joined the Illinois Credit Union System in 2011 from Fidelity National Information Services. He has been working with credit … Web: www.lsc.net Details
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Facing stiff pressure from press freedom groups concerned that an American journalist could be jailed for essentially doing his job, the Justice Department has declined to force James Risen, a veteran New York Times reporter, to reveal the identity of a source who allegedly leaked him classified information.In court documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged that Risen would never reveal the source’s identity. The Justice Department’s case stems from a section of Risen’s book State of War, in which he describes a failed CIA attempt at sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program.“Under no circumstances would he provide such testimony,” Holder said.Risen, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has repeatedly said he would go to jail instead of revealing the name of his source, even if compelled by a federal court to do so. Yet his legal battle with the government will continue, even despite Holder’s apparent concession. Included in the court filing was authorization from Holder to federal prosecutors to subpoena Risen in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who court documents from Risen’s federal appeals hearing identify as a former CIA officer once assigned to a “highly classified program intended to impede Iran’s efforts to acquire or develop nuclear weapons.”Sterling was reassigned in May 2000, and three months later filed a complaint alleging that he was discriminated against by the agency. A year later he also filed a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, which was dismissed in 2004. The day after Sterling filed the latter, the government alleges he met with two staff members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and expressed concerns about the CIA’s handling of the Iran program, as well as his discrimination complaint. The government alleges Sterling “threatened to go to the press,” according to court documents, and spoke with Risen over the phone and through email less than a month before the reporter contacted the CIA and the National Security Council about the classified program.Prosecutors will be allowed to seek testimony from Risen about the fact he has a confidentiality agreement with his source for Chapter 9 of his book, the section pertaining to an alleged US government plot to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, and “that he will not breach the agreement,” according to court documents.Risen can also be asked to confirm that he authored the chapter in question, as well as two articles published in the Times in 2001 and 2002, the latter relating to Sterling’s discrimination accusations against the CIA, and that all three “accurately reflect information provided to him by the source.” Prosecutors may also seek acknowledgment from Risen stating he had a prior non-confidential relationship with Sterling.It’s unclear if Holder’s decision not to force Risen to identify his source will improve an already tenuous relationship with press freedom groups, which have been critical of Holder’s pursuit of Risen’s testimony and its unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers.Facing pressure from the US government, the Times agreed not to publish information about the classified program, so Risen included it in his book instead.Risen had exhausted all his legal avenues after the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear his appeal.Risen has had the backing of some of the most influential press freedom groups in the country. In August, the Committee to Protect Journalists delivered to the DOJ a petition containing 100,000 signatures in support of Risen.The reporter has not been silent on the matter. He has repeatedly called President Obama “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”Risen was also the subject of a 60 Minutes segment in October, called “War on Leaks.” When asked if he would divulge his source, Risen responded: “Never, no. Basically, the choice the government’s given me is: Give up everything I believe or go to jail. So I’m not going to talk.”
The second phase of the recovery of the tourist market is most directly related to the creation of basic preconditions for the smooth provision of tourist services in the broadest sense of the word, ie the reopening of borders of all European countries and the establishment of regular air, land and sea connections between European countries. . Finally, the authors conclude that the full recovery of tourism, both globally and in Croatia, will occur when there is no longer a danger of COVID-19 disease and when the global tourism market re-establishes a balance and trust between tourism supply and demand, which is a necessary prerequisite. which tourism growth and development. The first phase of tourism recovery will overlap with the last phase of the epidemic and in that phase, which will most likely last from July to October 2020 (at least according to current knowledge) most tourism demand will be generated by local population and regional tourism demand. open the national borders of those countries that will keep the pandemic under control) The first work of the author doc. dr. sc. Damir Krešić, director of the Institute of Tourism and Assoc. prof. dr. sc. Josip Mikulić, Head of the Department of Tourism at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, calls “A scenario of a phased approach to the recovery of the tourism market after the COVID-19 pandemic”Brings a possible scenario of a phased exit from the crisis. According to current knowledge, we can expect this phase of repair of the tourist market (in the optimistic scenario) at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. This is what the authors stated in the paper three phases of tourism recovery, until the pre-crisis level of tourism activity from 2019 is finally reached. The emergence of COVID-19 disease has affected and changed our daily lives, our societies and economies. The consequences of this crisis will be especially visible in the tourism sector, so scientists and researchers from the Institute of Tourism have decided to contribute by making more brief expert opinions on various aspects of the impact of the corona crisis on tourism. The economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will not pass as quickly and easily as it looked at the end of February this year, and tourism will be one of the segments of the global economy that will be most affected by this crisis, the authors point out. , as the pandemic has its own cycle, it can also be assumed that the recovery of the tourism economy will not happen all at once, but also gradually. The third phase of the recovery of Croatian tourism, as predicted by the authors, will occur in the period when the economies of countries that are our main emitting markets begin to recover and when GDP growth rates and consumer purchasing power in these countries (Germany, Italy, Austria () be at levels that can bear the cost of going on foreign tourist trips. Attachment: A scenario of a phased approach to the recovery of the tourism market after the COVID-19 pandemic This phase is expected during 2022, or possibly earlier (second half of 2021), depending on the global economic situation and the sentiment that prevailed in these countries towards travel abroad. The whole paper on possible scenarios of phase exit from the crisis, author dr.sc. Damir Krešić, Ph.D. Josip Mikulić, download attached. Such demand, although it does not generate additional commercial overnight stays, nevertheless generates and raises the level of economic activity in the destination, and can also make an important contribution and impetus to the economic recovery of the destination.
“We will ensure security in equal measures to all — from dignitaries to fans,” Sorokin told TASS.But he also expressed a hint of annoyance at Arsenal’s decision to put up the Foreign Office travel advisory after Friday’s Europa League draw.“To us, there is no difference which country people come from or what our diplomatic relations with them are,” he said.“There are absolutely no grounds for such warnings.”Sorokin has been fighting an uphill battle to clean up Russia’s image ahead of its first World Cup at home.The June 14 to July 15 tournament has been associated closely with Vladimir Putin ever since the Russian strongman wrested the hosting rights away from England in 2010.Organisers are keen to resolve all the controversies and the poisoning case does not help.Preparations have already been shadowed by concerns ranging from racism to hooliganism and doping that saw Russia perform at the Pyeongchang Winter Games under a neutral Olympic flag.British Prime Minister Theresa May decided to give the World Cup itself a snub by announcing that royals and ministers would not be attending.A boycott by the England team is thought unlikely despite wide-ranging speculations about it in the media and support from some British MPs.Share on: WhatsApp Moscow, Russia | AFP | Russia has issued a security guarantee to Arsenal fans who will visit Moscow for a Europa League clash in the heat of a diplomatic crisis over an ex-double agent’s poisoning.Moscow on Saturday announced the expulsion of 23 British diplomats in a tit-for-tar response to London’s “provocative” measures over the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.Britain issued a travel warning to people in or planning to travel to Russia after expelling the same number of Moscow diplomats on Wednesday.And Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Friday said it was “overwhelmingly likely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the attack.The Kremlin called his comments “shocking and unforgivable”.All of which has left Arsenal fans alarmed about the prospects of playing CSKA in Moscow on April 12 for the second leg of their Europe League quarter-final.One Arsenal supporters’ group called it “a hot potato of a draw in view of the political stand-off”.The club itself reposted on its website a Foreign Office travel advisory warning of possible “anti-British sentiment or harassment”.Russia’s World Cup organising committee chief Alexei Sorokin expressed disappointment about the tensions and said Arsenal fans have nothing to fear.“It is a shame that the games will be played in such circumstance,” said Sorokin, who is also a senior member of the Russian Football Union.
CHAMPIONS HONORED—The South Hills Judo Club champions were honored by Pittsburgh City Council March 29 for their recent accomplishments at the 2010 Pennsylvania State Judo Championships. From left: City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, Devin King (1 Silver and 1 Bronze in his weight and age division), Robert McGill (1 Silver and 1 Bronze in his weight and age division), Dashawn Dixon (1 Silver in his division), Dequon Layne (Silver and Bronze in his weight and age division) and Eric Throne (2 gold medals in his division and a silver from the Ocean State Internationals. Not shown are Tony Nelson, their manager, and Brian Foltz from Allegheny Youth Development. The club is located in Carrick and its mission is to positively affect the character, fitness and lives of its members and the community through the principle of “mutual benefit and welfare.”