first_imgStudent Senate passed a resolution adjusting its required quorum and approved a new chair of the Gender Issues committee during its Wednesday meeting. An assembly’s quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present for the body to conduct business. Previously, Student Senate required three-fourths of its members, or 23 senators, to be in attendance to conduct the meeting. The new resolution mandates that only three-fifths of its members, or 18 senators, must be present. Ben Noe, Oversight committee chair, said if Senate does not reach quorum, senators can remain at the meeting and hear any guest speakers but the meeting will not be official. “This way, if there’s a large event going on with a large number of senators, such as all the business students, we can still have a reasonable discussion,” Noe said. He said this resolution does not relax Senate’s strict attendance policy. “You are all still required to come to Senate meetings, but now we can still have a discussion within Senate without being [impeded] by quorum,” he said. Most importantly, senators are not able to vote on resolutions or other issues if quorum is not reached. Student Senate also approved Pasquerilla East senator Katie Rose as the new chair for the Gender Issues Committee. The student government officers, as well as the previous Gender Issues chair, recommended Rose for the position because of her past experience. “I volunteer off campus with the Rape Crisis Center as an advocate for the fight against sexual violence,” Rose said. Rose has been volunteering at the Center for approximately a year and is looking forward to being chair of the Gender Issues committee. “I’ve never been more excited in my entire life,” she said.last_img

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first_imgTwo consecutive weeks of rainfall in Georgia stunted the growth of the state’s peanut crop and created ideal conditions for diseases in vegetable fields, leaving farmers scrambling to decide what to do next.Georgia’s peanut and cotton acreage remains in flux due to the inclement weather. According to the Georgia Crop Progress and Condition Report, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, 73 percent of this year’s peanut crop has been planted. Some of the crop will likely need to be replanted because of saturated field conditions.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort said the steady rainfall stalled the growth of peanut plants across Georgia. Fields are waterlogged from the abnormal amount of rainfall, and the plants are not pulling any essential nutrients from the soil.“I’ve been in quite a few fields where everything looks like it’s several weeks behind. Peanuts that were planted a month ago look like they were planted a week ago. They’re just not growing,” Monfort said.UGA Extension crop experts believe the upward swing of cotton prices that started at the beginning of this year may entice row crop farmers to switch some peanut acreage to cotton when farmers can get back into their fields and planting resumes.Cotton cash prices are currently 88 cents per pound, the highest reported average since 2014, according to UGA Extension cotton economist Yangxuan Liu. While this is encouraging news for cotton producers, it presents a predicament for peanut growers, like Bill Brim, who haven’t planted their entire crop.“We’ve got to make a decision on whether we’re going to continue to try to hold out and plant more peanuts or plant cotton. (Cotton) is close to breaking 90 cents, so it’s looking better and better to plant cotton than it is (to plant) peanuts,” said Brim, owner and CEO of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia. The company runs Quality Produce, a plasticulture and ground vegetable production operation that covers more than 6,500 acres.Only 65 percent of Georgia’s cotton acreage has been planted, according to the same Georgia crop progress report. UGA Extension cotton agronomist Jared Whitaker said that it’s risky for Georgia farmers to plant cotton in June, but they do it every year.“It’s a good opportunity. We have cotton close to 90 cents to rely on. It’s good, assuming we can get the crop in if it ever stops raining,” Whitaker said.According to weather.uga.edu, Moultrie, Georgia, received 6.19 inches of rain from May 14 through May 28. Over the same time period, Tifton received 4.32 inches with 13 rainy days, and Albany, Georgia, received 6.23 inches with 14 rainy days.Rainfall is predicted to continue through the end of this week. Even then, farmers need several days of sunshine before they will be able to get in their fields, assess the situation, and determine whether it’s economically feasible to plant more peanuts and expect good yields.“The next two weeks are going to change some people’s thinking. We’re not going to be able to get back in the field for at least a week,” Monfort said. “If we could get (the peanuts) in the ground now, we could keep moving along. But that’s not the way it’s working out.”While all of Georgia’s peanuts have yet to be planted, the state’s spring vegetable crops are in the ground, according to UGA Extension vegetable specialist Tim Coolong. However, with increased moisture comes the potential risk for increased disease pressure. Farmers haven’t been able to get in the field to apply much-needed fungicides, leaving crops like watermelons, peppers and tomatoes vulnerable to crippling diseases.“Our crops all have fruit on them right now. … In crops like tomatoes and even watermelons, given the cloudy, wet weather, we’ve seen some blossom drop, poor pollination and poor fruit-set. In watermelons, when it’s rainy and wet like this, the honeybees tend to stay inactive until it’s later in the day. We’ve seen some fruit abortion,” Coolong said.Georgia growers who produce watermelon, squash, cantaloupe and cucumbers need to be mindful of downy mildew disease. Two weeks ago, UGA plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta issued an alert to all Georgia vegetable farmers that downy mildew was discovered in northern Florida. Last week, downy mildew was detected on cucumbers from Brooks County, Georgia.Dutta advised producers to be timely in their fungicide applications because of the damage downy mildew can cause in cucurbits. The disease can destroy the plant’s foliage and cause the leaves to curl and die. Without healthy leaves, the plant is vulnerable to blisters and sunscald during hot summer days.“I think downy mildew is one of the diseases that farmers worry about the most in cucurbits. When it takes off in a field, it’s very hard to control,” Coolong said.Brim is already seeing disease and bacteria on some of his plants.“(The rain has) devastated us; we just need for it to get out of here. If it doesn’t, we’re going to lose our whole crop,” Brim said.Growers with field-related questions should contact their local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img

first_imgCreditors, workers challenge Mission Coal bankruptcy bonuses for top brass FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Unsecured creditors and the unionized workforce of Mission Coal Co. LLC filed objections to two incentive programs the company proposed to retain employees during its bankruptcy sale process. Mission Coal asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama to approve two plans on Nov. 28: a key employee incentive plan, or KEIP, and a key employee retention plan, or KERP. The KERP is a $1.1 million proposed incentive program that Mission said is designed specifically to retain 40 “critical non-insider employees” through the reorganization, while the KEIP provides up to $281,875, depending on certain sales metrics, to encourage two senior members of management to meet “challenging sale-related process and pricing goals.”A committee of Mission’s unsecured creditors wrote in a Dec. 12 filing that they do not object to the broader KERP program, but do object to KEIP bonuses they said are unnecessary and duplicative of pre-petition bonuses that were paid to the same two executives on the eve of the company’s bankruptcy. Just two days before the petition date, the unsecured creditors wrote, Mission doled out $1.5 million in bonuses to three top executives, including the two who would benefit from the new program: Gary Broadbent, the general counsel and vice president of human resources, and Vice President of Accounting Alan Jones. “The proposed KEIP does not properly incentivize the debtors’ executives to achieve significant value-enhancing performance during the pendency of these Chapter 11 cases,” attorneys for the unsecured creditors wrote. “Moreover, the proposal to reward two executives who each received payments of $365,000 a mere two days before the petition date is unseemly, at best.”The United Mine Workers of America, or UMWA, the union representing some of those employees, said it was not consulted in the design of the retention plans and urged the rejection of both of the proposed programs.More: ($) Mission Coal sees backlash from workers, creditors over incentive programslast_img

first_img The mobilization of Brazilian military troops to the southern and western border regions of Brazil resulted in the seizure of 25,935 pounds of explosives in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso. A major load was located in Itiquira, a region in the city of Rondonopolis (Mato Grosso), stored in a truck that transported the product to the quarry region without authorization. The military found 25,604 pounds in the vehicle alone. On Aug. 6, Army soldiers, supported by Federal Police agents seized 330 pounds of dynamite in the Brazilian towns of Ametista do Sul and Frederico Westphalen, in Rio Grande do Sul. These are the initial results yielded by Operation Ágata 5, which started at the beginning of the week covering 2,423 miles of border with Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. In the past few days, troop participation intensified and reached 17,000 soldiers patrolling the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, and Mato Grosso do Sul. This represents a 70% increase of military and civil contingents at the borders. On Aug. 9, Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim; Army Commander General Enzo Martins Peri, and the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, General José Carlos De Nardi, visited the targeted area covered by Ágata 5. The vandalism of ATM machines in greater Rio Grande do Sul prompted the Intelligence Department of the Army to reassess the storage and trade of dynamite. In past weeks, gangs used explosives to vandalize equipment in four different towns in Rio Grande do Sul. The last incidence took place in the early hours of Aug. 7, in Sao Francisco de Paula, the Serra region. In 2012, the number of vandalized ATM machines reached 12. The operation resulted in the seizure of explosives. Besides dynamite, the troops found 9,000 meters of twine, 315 fuses, 661 pounds of marijuana, six guns and 86 parcels filled with illegal materials. In the last 48 hours of operation, 8,966 inspections and searches were conducted. The Brazilian Air Force and Civil Aviation Agency searched 11 airfields, including its airplanes and pilots. Operation Ágata 5 was established by an ordinance signed by President Dilma Rousseff on June 8, 2011. It outlined the Border Patrol Strategic Plan in which the Ministry of Defense, through the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, would lead the operations along the borders of ten countries with 710 Brazilian towns within 11 of its states. In this edition, the Navy, Army, and Air Force, with the participation of regulating agencies, Federal Police, Federal Highway Patrol, state and municipal forces will fight against the smuggling of narcotics, weapons, contraband and stolen cars, among other illegal activities. In the targeted area, the Armed Forces count on the support of fighter planes F5, Super Tucano, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), radar airplanes, 30 ships from different ports, Urutu and Cascavel tanks, and light and heavy weapons. The first two days of Operation Ágata produced the interception of an airplane by the Brazilian Airspace Defense Command and the inspections of 40 vessels. There were 54 patrols in naval, ground, and air missions. By Dialogo August 10, 2012last_img

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