The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that some unemployed Vermonters may be eligible for additional unemployment benefits. ‘We have been informed by federal administrators that Vermont will be eligible for the ‘3rd tier’ of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits. This means unemployed Vermonters who have exhausted their Tier 2 benefits may be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of Tier 3 benefits,’ said Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan. ‘Despite the continued decline in the state’s unemployment rate ‘ now at 5.4 percent – due to a seasonal fluctuation between December through March, we hit one ‘trigger’ that activated the additional benefits for some Vermonters.’The week ending March 26, 2011 is the first week payable for Tier 3 benefits. The 3rd tier of extended unemployment benefits (EUC) is activated when either the total unemployment rate (TUR) reaches 6.0 percent or more, or the insured unemployment rate (IUR) is 4.0 percent or more. In this case, it was the ‘Insured Unemployment Rate’ in the months of December through March of 4.0 percent that resulted in the extended benefits. As it is related to seasonal factors, the Department of Labor does not anticipate the IUR to remain above the 4.0 percent threshold for a sustained period of time. Overall, the total unemployment rate in Vermont continues to decline, as demonstrated by the two-tenths of one percent decline between February and March.Regular UI benefits provide 26 weeks of state benefits. Vermont meets the criteria for three tiers of federal benefits. Tier 1 provides up to 20 weeks, Tier 2 provides 14 weeks and Tier 3 provides up to 13 weeks of federal EUC benefits. In Vermont, approximately 1,100 unemployed Vermonters will potentially qualify for this 13 week benefit, resulting in a combined total of up to 73 weeks of state and federal benefits.The Vermont Department of Labor has 12 Career Resource Centers that will continue to provide Vermonters assistance with job seeking skills and strategies. For a list of the Department’s resource centers and other information, please visit our website at www.labor.vermont.gov(link is external).Source: Vermont Department of Labor.
‘A Low- to No-Growth Environment’ for Coal-Fired Electricity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence:“The coal industry has a long-term ‘aging out’ problem,” said Joe Aldina, director of U.S. coal at PIRA Energy Group, an analytics and forecasting unit of S&P Global Platts. “With the average age of coal units around 40 years and no plans to build new capacity, a big chunk of the coal fleet can reliably operate for only another 10 to 15 years, especially with increasing demands for cycling, which is tougher on a plant.”Coal and older gas plants continue to make up the bulk of plant retirements, while new gas plants, solar and wind have dominated capacity additions.In June 2017, SSR LLC analysts Eric Selmon and Hugh Wynne warned that flat demand and capacity additions would likely erode gas and coal capacity factors through 2019. The existing fleet of fossil fuel plants will be squeezed by stagnant power demand and rising capacity from wind, solar and more efficient natural gas plants, they said.Aldina said that while some increased utilization of existing capacity could help some producers serving particular power plants, overall tonnage consumed will likely hold flat or decrease as producers are “staring down a low- to no-growth environment.” He said expects overall coal burn will likely decrease as new gas supply goes to markets and keeps prices below $3/MMBtu on average.“Renewables and gas-fired plants are being built that often displace coal plants in the dispatch stack based on economics, which is why overall coal demand will be flat to declining,” Aldina said. “Remaining plants may get a bigger share of the pie from higher utilization, but it’s ultimately a smaller pie. Producers will have to prepare for that and keep production in line with demand.”More: ($) US coal capacity factor gives room to burn, but may not offset customer loss
Get away to FrederickCounty, Maryland where you will find all the natural wonders the region has tooffer with all the amenities of a city. Make your way down the Monocacy River, the perfect waterway for paddlers just starting out or looking for a relaxing float. Take in the grandeur of the Catoctin Mountains as you make your way past forests and farmlands. With 10 public boat launches in the county, tailor the length of your trip to fit your day. Hop on the Potomac River at the southern border of the county, an important river to maintaining the health of the Chesapeake Bay. This river offers everything from a mellow ride on a tube to Class III whitewater rapids. Visit the Carroll Creek Park from June throughOctoberto see the Color on theCreek water garden. Volunteers manage the garden, filled with more than 1,200blooming lilies, lotus, and bog plants on the water. View the butterflywaystations at Kemptown and Utica Parks for a glimpse of themonarch butterfly as it makes its way south for the winter. Hike, bike, or horsebackride through the mountainous GambrillState Park. Three overlooks allow you to view the valleys below and the mountainsin the distance. Fish for bass, bluegill, and catfish in the small pond, nolicense required. At Greenbrier State Park, boaters can access the man-made freshwater lake to paddle in the Appalachian Mountains. Hike through 11 miles of trails through a variety of habitats, including the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the park. With over 200 boutique shops and uniquerestaurants in Downtown Frederick and 20 tasting rooms in the county, there isplenty to do at the end of the day. Spend the night at one of several majorhotel brands, like Hilton and Marriott, in addition to other vacation rentalsand bed and breakfasts right downtown or out in the country. Stay Awhile Learn from important Civil War sites, including the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Monocacy National Battlefield or ride into Downtown Frederick on the scenic Historic National Road, the first federally funded interstate highway. Enjoy a four-course meal in a vintage 1920s passenger car as the Walkersville Southern Railroad runs through the Maryland countryside. Stop by The Trailhouse in Downtown Frederick for all the gear you will need, from tents and backpacks to climbing gear and paddling maps. While you are downtown, stop for a meal before making your way out onto the water. If you are looking for a guided trip, River & Trail Outfitters have an adventure for you. Whitewater raft on the Shenandoah River, tube or paddle down the Potomac River, cycle along the C&O Canal, or zipline high above the trees. Combine your paddle with drinks on one of their boat and brew tours. Get up close with bison, sheep, and more on a safari excursion through the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo or bottle feed a calf at South Mountain Creamery before trying some of their delicious ice cream made with ingredients from the farm. Head out of the city to Cunningham Falls State Park in the Catoctin Mountains and visit Hunting Creek Lake. During the summer, you can rents boats at the lake to explore the 43 acres surrounded by forests. Hike miles of trail, view the 78-foot cascading waterfall, the tallest in Maryland, and choose from over 100 campsites to extend your visit to the park. In Frederick County, youwill find all the outdoor adventure you are looking for with a backdrop thatcan’t be beat.
continue reading » Achieving your primary goals of member retention, acquisition, security and everything else on your plate is not easily done without establishing relationships with service and technology providers. As one of the driving forces of an effective business strategy, these connections strengthen and support your ability to continue serving your members, while realizing year-over-year growth.Taking your relationships public through press releases, media advisories and other forms of outreach strengthens your credit union’s reputation as a leader in the industry by projecting a variety of messages onto a few key audiences, including:Prospective members: One very relevant example is Apple®, which recently expanded its ApplePay™ partnerships to include an even larger group of credit unions. Relationships of this nature can strengthen organic growth by attracting a younger group of members who might not have considered a credit unions without this partnership. Alternatively, credit unions may begin working with third parties that offer a unique or new type of loan product and introducing their services to a new audience within the respective community. 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – The irony is hard to miss. Much is being discussed and published about the “lessons learned” from the 2009 pandemic of the novel H1N1 influenza. And I expect the World Health Organization (WHO) will (as I did in my last column) finally call it a pandemic any moment now, based on extensive and growing transmission of the novel influenza virus in Australia and Europe.So the declaration of phase 6 is upon us—a moment we’ve much anticipated—and we’re already talking about lessons learned? Does that make sense?Yes—to a point.But stay tunedI’m all in favor of reviewing what’s worked well so far in our response to H1N1—and what needs fixing when examining any response to a public health threat. But I also think it’s critical to emphasize that we are not out of the woods yet with this pandemic.In other words, because we haven’t had all the lessons, we can’t know all the lessons. I wish I could know this virus won’t do a repeat of 1918. That year a wave of a novel H1N1 virus infection circulated around the world—also causing mild illness in humans. But obvious changes occurred in the virus during the summer months. And, in late August of 1918, what was a mild pandemic turned into a killer. There is still much to be learned about the current pandemic, and we must not lower our vigilance or spend much time patting ourselves on the back for what we did right when it began. Too much is still at stake.Given that caveat, yes, look at your organization’s response to the early stages of this pandemic. And with whatever information you glean, adjust your plan accordingly.At the top of the listIf you ask me, the biggest takeaway thus far is this: We have to stay nimble—and alert. And I’m talking about everyone from the WHO to national governments, C-suite executives, planners, media, and, ultimately, each individual.You need look no further than the flap over the WHO’s pandemic alert levels not accounting for severity to see why flexibility is a must.OK, so the WHO alert phases don’t include severity. What now? Are you going to wait for word from “on high” before you make your next move? Or are you going to take what you know at this point and ensure your organization is ready for any number of possibilities?I urge you to use common sense and reliable information.If your organization’s plans were tied to alert levels and assumed the scenario of a severe pandemic, great. You’ve thought through one of the possibilities. But now it’s time to adjust. The pandemic at this point isn’t severe, which is also great—and not the end of the story as far as we know.Shedding light on the questions Based on calls I’ve received in the past month from a variety of companies, I know you had to tackle some tricky challenges on the fly. For example, did you:Try to act on an agreement to reserve antivirals and run into any glitches?Enact a travel restriction order among your employees going to Mexico only to have to explain 2 weeks later why you weren’t enforcing a similar order for travel to New York City even though the city had documented as many confirmed cases as Mexico had in the early days?Try to order respirators or masks only to encounter a shortage or discover many were manufactured in the very country where the outbreak started and was most severe?Put in place stay-at-home policies for employees who had flu-like illness only to find you couldn’t count on anyone “certifying” they were clear to come back to work?Find that media coverage declined even as the WHO raised its pandemic alert level, thus making it hard to maintain credibility?Realize a need to be able to call on local public health officials and peers outside your organization to run a reality check or compare policies or practices?Have all reliable sources of information you needed so you could respond to questions from management, employees, and customers quickly?So now, go back to your plan, if you have one, and see how you can build greater flexibility into it. If you’re starting from scratch, know that being nimble is going to be a key to keeping your business alive.Remember: The plan is never finalFortunately, the disease the virus is causing is mostly mild and the number of deaths associated with the infection is well within the range of what we’d expect with a mild seasonal influenza season.But as sure as the sun rises in the east, I guarantee you there will many more lessons to learn and very likely more challenges to your organization’s plan.So while we all hope that we’ve dodged the bullet with this new H1N1 virus, we have a stark reminder of why we should not let down our guard: the events of 1918.We don’t have a clue if the same pattern will unfold with the new H1N1. But at CIDRAP Business Source, we’re not taking our eyes off this pandemic for a second.Bottom line for businessConsider the events of the past 6 weeks a wake-up call. In no way can we say yet that we’ve dodged the bullet. Learn what you can, especially about how to keep your plan flexible, and, to be sure, count on learning more.
But Cozart was desperate enough to change “cold turkey, a day or two from playing games.”With a new stance, Cozart homered in his first spring at-bat, which led to a career year that earned him an All-Star appearance – and a donkey. Eventually, it helped net him a three-year, $38-million deal with the Angels to play third base.After not playing an inning at a position other than shortstop throughout his major league career, this spring Cozart, 32, has been learning to play third, which makes it the second spring in a row he’s trying something new.The Angels are hoping this change works as well as that one did.The change Cozart made a year ago might not seem like much. Instead of wagging his bat in the air as he waited for the pitch, he stood more still, with the bat on his shoulder. PreviousLos Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Angels’ Zack Cozart scores past Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta during the fourth inning of Thursday’s Cactus League game in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Angels third baseman Zack Cozart has proven to be pretty adaptable, and the former shortstop has spent spring training honing his skills at the hot corner as part of the team’s new-look infield. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)SCOTTSDALE, AZ – MARCH 06: Zack Cozart #7 of the Los Angeles Angels slides into home plate to score against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning of the spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart works out during their spring training activities at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart during Photo Day at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)The Angels’ Zack Cozart, right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Diamondbacks relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)Los Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)NextShow Caption1 of 10Los Angles Angels’ Zack Cozart hits against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 12, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)ExpandTEMPE, Ariz. — Last spring, Zack Cozart showed up to spring training and he was lost.It’s pretty unusual for a player to be so discouraged at a time of such little consequence as the opening days of spring training, but when Cozart began working out with the Cincinnati Reds last year, he knew something was seriously wrong.“I couldn’t even hit batting practice well,” Cozart said. “I was like ‘There needs to be a change or something to simplify so I’m not thinking so much.’”Cozart, at that time a veteran of five full major-league seasons, heading into his contract year, was frustrated enough to go to his hitting coaches and suggest what felt like a significant change. It’s the kind of thing hitters usually do early in the offseason, not with weeks to go before opening day. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error To Cozart, though, it was something that took three or four months of muscle memory to become comfortable. Eventually, it created an entirely different feel – physically and mentally – at the plate.“It relaxed me,” Cozart said. “Now I’m just kind of sitting there. Mentally I don’t have to worry about the rhythm of my hands. You can just concentrate on seeing the ball and making a good decision on the swing. There were times my hands were up and I was out of sync with my rhythm. There were times I probably didn’t even see the ball because I was so worried about my rhythm.”A career .246 hitter with a .289 on-base percentage before last year, Cozart hit .393 with a .493 on-base percentage in the first three weeks of the season, hot enough for the Reds to move him from seventh to second in the order. Hitting in front of perennial All-Star Joey Votto, Cozart kept drawing walks, which to him was the ultimate sign of his improved discipline.“You’d think they’d always come right after me (with Votto on deck), but once the pitchers saw I was on the attack and having good swings then they are throwing me 3-1 sliders,” Cozart said. “They don’t want to groove it to me. Then all of the sudden I’m walking with Joey coming up. That was the biggest eye-opening thing to me, not swinging at bad pitches.”Seeing Cozart have such good swings in front of him prompted Votto make a public proclamation: if Cozart made the All-Star team, he’d get him a donkey.The whole donkey story began in 2016, when Cozart had been taking his toddler son to a place near the Reds spring training home in Goodyear, Ariz. Southwest Specialty Foods has an “Ass Kickin’” line of hot sauces and chili products. To go with the theme, the location has donkeys, which kids can pet and feed.Cozart and his son, who is now 3, enjoyed the donkeys so much that it became a thing in the Reds clubhouse. And after Votto made it public, it became a hot topic when Cozart did make the All-Star Game in Miami.Cozart, who never doubted that Votto was serious about getting him a donkey, is now the owner of a white donkey named Donald. Because Cozart didn’t have the land or facilities to keep a donkey, Donald currently lives at a petting zoo outside of Cincinnati.Cozart said he’s hoping to someday acquire enough property near his home in the Nashville area to keep Donald, his non-traditional family pet.“They are like dogs,” Cozart said. “If they think of you like you are their family, they are the most affectionate, loving animals, just like dogs.”While Cozart was adjusting to life as a donkey owner, he was putting the finishing touches on his outstanding season with the Reds. He hit .297 with a .385 on-base percentage, 24 homers and a .933 OPS, all career highs.Cozart took those numbers onto the free agent market, where the Angels began to pursue him. The Angels, set at shortstop with Andrelton Simmons, agreed to sign Cozart to have him play second base. As Cozart was on his way to get his physical, though, the Angels had a chance to get Ian Kinsler to play second, so they asked Cozart to move to third. Eager to play for a winner, Cozart was willing to make the switch.The first step in the transition was getting used to balls rocketing at him, so he had a friend of his hit him fungos from close range. He would try to just pick them with one hand.Cozart also talked to Scott Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner at third who was his teammate in Cincinnati. He talked to Eric Chavez, a six-time Gold Glove third baseman who now works as a special assistant to Angels GM Billy Eppler.Chavez and Cozart finally got on the field together in Arizona in early February, and Chavez immediately knew this transition would work.“After the first five balls, I was like ‘Ok,’” Chavez said. “It was quite apparent it wasn’t going to be a problem. … His feet are really fast. His hands are really good. His arm is good. Now it’s just positioning, angles, depth, maybe some lefty spin off the left-handed hitter. He’s going to be just fine.”Those who know Cozart best insist he’ll have little trouble with the switch.“He’ll handle it because he’s a terrific player,” Reds manager Bryan Price said earlier this spring. “If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Zack Cozart every time in that transition.”Price, of course, just saw it. He saw Cozart a year ago transform himself as a hitter, and he expects Cozart to sustain his new level of offensive performance.“His plate coverage is way better,” Price said. “He has the ability to zone pitches better than I’ve ever seen him. He’s not getting himself out on pitchers’ pitches early. He’ll get a good pitch to hit and he won’t miss it. I don’t think that’s cyclical. I think he’s going to be that type of offensive player.”
YinYang/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not on the bench for oral arguments Wednesday due to a stomach bug, according to the court.The court’s oldest justice, 86, is recovering at home, a spokesperson said.“But she will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts or recordings of the oral arguments,” Chief Justice John Roberts said from the bench at the open of the day’s court session.Notably, Ginsburg is missing the justices’ Wednesday conference to discuss and decide cases argued Tuesday — which were those challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which President Barack Obama created in 2012 to provide temporary legal status and work permits to immigrants.At issue in the DACA case is whether the Trump administration followed federal law requiring agencies to base policy changes on sound reasoning that is explained to the public. Lower courts ruled that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of law.During Tuesday’s oral arguments, the court’s conservative members — including the newest members of the court, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — seemed inclined to overturn the lower court decision. Overturning the decision would allow the Trump administration to carry on with canceling DACA.Ginsburg and her fellow liberal colleagues, however, pushed back. Ginsburg herself argued with the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security’s assumption that DACA is unconstitutional, as outlined in two memos by two now-former homeland security secretaries.“Her whole memo is infected by the idea that this is, one, illegal. It leaves substantial doubt about its illegality,” she said, referring to the memo by Kirstjen Nielsen. “If we take that out, then — the independent ground that you’re asserting, then she would be saying, we stand up and say this is the policy of our administration. We don’t like DACA and we’re taking responsibility for that, instead of trying to put the blame on the law.”Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco replied that he “very much disagree[d]” with that assessment.Justice Stephen Breyer, meanwhile, suggested a possible middle ground by crafting an opinion that buys time for policymakers to address DACA recipients’ status.This is Ginsburg’s second absence from a public court session in the past year. Last December she took leave after undergoing cancer surgery, which was the first time in her 26 years on the bench she missed an argument. She was also treated for a localized malignant tumor on her pancreas in August before the court convened for the new term.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Florida teachers plan to march on the state Capitol Monday when lawmakers begin their 2020 legislative session to demand more money for schools and teachers. The Florida Education Association says it will bus thousands of teachers, parents and public education supporters to Tallahassee for a march on the Capitol as state senators discuss how to boost pay for classroom instructors. Florida ranks among the bottom ten states in teacher pay. A proposed bill to raise teachers’ pay in Florida sounds good on paper, boasting the chance to raise the state’s status from the 26th in the nation for starting teacher salaries to the second highest. But educators say the plan has holes, especially when it comes to how it will affect veteran teachers.According to DeSantis, the proposed bill to be addressed during the 2020 legislative session would boost minimum salaries, not the overall average pay.The governor says this call was intentional and would affect “60 percent of teachers.”The average teacher salary in the 2017-2018 school year, topped $48,000, Florida state records show. DeSantis’ proposal would raise teachers’ starting salary from around $37,600 to $47,500. But as the proposal stands right now, it doesn’t address what the increase means for longtime teachers who already make more than the potential new rate.
President Trump and the First lady will be arriving at PBIA tonight shortly before 7 to spend the Super Bowl weekend in South Florida.No sitting US President has ever attended a Super Bowl game and odds are -850 against Trump attending the big game. Instead the over/under on tweets by the Preisdent on Super Bowl Sunday stands at 13.5. The president tweeted just three times during the game last year.Instead of attending President Trump will run a :30 second commercial during the big game. The 30-second spot is one of two that will run during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is also running a 60-second ad during Sunday’s contest that will focus on his efforts in support of gun control legislation.A 30-second spot airing during the Super Bowl will cost about $5 million while a 60-second ad runs about $10 million.
Officials in Tennessee are reporting that a man has died after he became trapped inside of a donation bin just outside of a Walmart.The incident was reported Sunday at the establishment in Clarksville.Authorities say they responded to the scene to find the lower half of an adult male protruding from the bin.Officials were able to extract the man from the bin, however, he was pronounced dead at the scene.It is unclear at this time how long the man may have been stuck in the bin or his exact cause of death. Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident, however, they did report that they do not suspect foul play.