Deng Honored

first_imgUniversity of Georgia food scientist Xiangyu Deng has been awarded the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). The award recognizes excellence in food safety and was presented to Deng at the IAFP meeting held July 8-11 in Salt Lake City.The IAFP presents the Beuchat award to a young researcher who is an active member and has shown outstanding ability and professional promise as a researcher in food microbiology and/or food safety in the early years of his or her career. Sponsored by bioMerieux Inc., the award includes a plaque and a $2,000 honorarium.The IAFP named the award in honor of UGA Distinguished Research Professor Larry Beuchat, a retired College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences food microbiologist at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia. Deng is also a researcher at the center, where Beuchat still actively participates in research projects.Last year, Deng’s work in the emerging field of bioinformatics led to his selection as a UGA Creative Research Award winner. The medal is one of the prestigious honors bestowed annually by the UGA Research Foundation to outstanding faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in recognition of excellence in research, scholarly creativity and technology commercialization at UGA.Deng was recognized for creating a cloud-based software tool that quickly classifies strains of salmonella, one of the most prevalent foodborne pathogens in the United States and worldwide. The SeqSero system identifies serotypes, or distinct strains of salmonella, from infected humans, animals, foods and the environment using whole genome sequencing. This system allows for accurate, fast fingerprinting of any salmonella strain in minutes rather than days and replaces a complicated, time-consuming laboratory protocol.“Dr. Deng’s unique set of multidisciplinary skills combined with his enthusiasm for developing better methods for characterizing foodborne pathogens is a dynamic combination that has already produced impressive results,” said Francisco Diez, director of the CFS.IAFP also presented UGA Regents’ Professor Michael Doyle, now retired, its Honorary Life Membership Award. This award recognizes IAFP members for their dedication to the high ideals and objectives of IAFP and for their service to the association.last_img read more

Merchants Bancshares earnings down

first_img### “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />SOUTHBURLINGTON, VT – MerchantsBancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, todayannounced net income of $2.67 million, or diluted earnings per share of 42cents, for the quarter ended June 30, 2006. This compares with net income of$3.06 million, or diluted earnings per share of 48 cents, for the quarter endedJune 30, 2005. The return on average assets was 0.96% and the return on averageequity was 16.62% for the second quarter of 2006, compared to 1.15% and 18.89%,respectively, for the second quarter of 2005. Merchants declared a dividend on July20, 2006, of 28 cents per share, payable August 17, 2006, to shareholders of record as ofAugust 3, 2006. For more information on the quarter please refer to Merchants’quarterly Form 10-Q, which will be filed on or about August 1, 2006, and will beavailable on the SEC website at www.sec.gov(link is external).Mr. Joseph Boutin,Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer; Ms.JanetSpitler, Merchants’ Chief FinancialOfficer; and Mr. Michael Tuttle, President and Chief Executive Officer ofMerchants Bank will host a conference call to discuss these earnings results at10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday August 3, 2006.  Interested parties may participate inthe conference call by dialing (800) 230-1085; the title of the call is Earnings Release Conference Call forMerchants Bancshares, Inc. Participants are asked to call a few minutes prior to register.  A replay will be available until noon onThursday August 10, 2006. The U.S. replay dial-in telephonenumber is (800) 475-6701. The international replay dial-in telephone number is(320) 365-3844. The replay access code is806414.Thecontinuing mission of Merchants Bank is to provide Vermonters with a truecommunity bank. It fulfills this commitment through a branch-based system thatincludes 35 bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont, personal bankersdedicated to top-quality customer service, and streamlined products:FreedomLYNX® Banking, which consists of Free Checking forLife®, a Money Market Account, Free Online Banking and Bill Pay,Overdraft Coverage, Direct Deposit, a Free Debit Card and Free Automated PhoneBanking; TimeLYNX® Certificates of Deposit; HomeLYNX® HomeEquity Loans; RealLYNX® Residential Mortgages and CommerceLYNX®Business Banking. Merchants Bank also includes a trust and investmentdivision, known as Merchants Trust Company, serving individuals andinstitutions. For more information about Merchants Bank, visit mbvt.com.Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbolMBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Some of the statements contained in this press release mayconstitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections,future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similarexpressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.  The forward-looking statements reflectMerchants’ current views about future events and are subject to risks,uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may causeMerchants’ actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in anyforward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements should not be relied on since they involveknown and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in somecases, beyond Merchants’ control and which could materially affect actualresults.  The factors that couldcause actual results to differ materially from current expectations includechanges in general economic conditions in Vermont, changes in interest rates,changes in competitive product and pricing pressures among financialinstitutions within Merchants’ markets, and changes in the financial conditionof Merchants’ borrowers.  Theforward-looking statements contained herein represent Merchants’ judgment as ofthe date of this release, and Merchants cautions readers not to place unduereliance on such statements.  Forfurther information, please refer to Merchants’ reports filed with theSecurities and Exchange Commission. MessageBODY { MARGIN-TOP: 25px; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; MARGIN-LEFT: 25px; COLOR: #800080; FONT-FAMILY: Myriad Pro}P.msoNormal { MARGIN-TOP: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN-LEFT: 0px; COLOR: #ffffcc; FONT-FAMILY: Helvetica, “Times New Roman”}LI.msoNormal { MARGIN-TOP: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; MARGIN-LEFT: 0px; COLOR: #ffffcc; FONT-FAMILY: Helvetica, “Times New Roman”}For Release: August 1, 2006Merchants Bancshares,Inc. Announces 2006 Second QuarterResultslast_img read more

Small Dog customers vote with feet — and paws

first_imgThe numbers are just coming in for Small Dog Electronics’ new flagship store and by all measurements, it’s an undisputed winner.The Apple Specialist (#1 in New England, #3 in the nation) opened its doors in Burlington, Vermont and it was clear that customers voted with their feet – and their wallets.”We knew that the Burlington store would blow all earlier records we had ever set for retail,” says Don Mayer, founder and CEO of the online Apple reseller, “but the pent-up demand was even bigger than we projected.” Small Dog Electronics (www.smalldog.com(link is external)) started its internet enterprise in 1995 and added an adjunct retail outlet a few years later, nestled in the outlying mountainside village of Waitsfield, Vermont. Four months ago, a retail space in the busiest shopping intersection in Chittenden County opened up. “We knew if we were ever going to grow the retail side of the business, it had to be the perfect location,” Mayer describes, “and suddenly – it just appeared.” The store occupies 3700 sq. ft in a highly trafficked shopping center just south of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city and most populated county. It opened on October 28.”Twelve days into the new Burlington store, sales are trending more than two and a half times the volume of its counterpart in Waitsfield.” Mayer reports. “Heck, if I had a dollar for every person that said ‘thank goodness you’re finally here,’ it would be triple.”Between the flurry of ribbon-cutting festivities, and a blitz of special theme days for students, photographers, and other professionals, more than 2000 people visited Small Dog Electronics in its opening week. Over $10,000 worth of iPods, computers and other prizes were given away in special events and promotions with the help of vendor attendees including MacWorld, Canon, Olympus, LaCie, and Apple.The opening of the flagship store catapults Small Dog Electronics into new territory. One, Mayer describes as “very Mac-friendly and Mac-sophisticated. “Vermont has grown considerably in the past twenty years,” Mayer explains, “and Burlington is the epicenter for thriving national businesses like Ben & Jerry’s as well as a popular college town. Vermonters have been our online customers for years and they let us know in this first stretch, how happy they are with our new, more accessible location.”Dogs, too, are always part of the mix at Small Dog Electronics, and the new store is no exception. Dogs are welcome and christened the store in a variety of ways. “There’s a reason why we chose hard wood floors,” says retail store manager, Hannah Parfitt. “They’re nice looking and so easy to clean.”last_img read more

Governor, lawmakers make peace over $4.7 billion budget

first_imgUnlike last year when Vermont Governor Jim Douglas vetoed the budget the Legislature handed him, only to have lawmakers override his veto in a special session in June, the 2011 $4.7 billion budget was signed by the governor in May, with praise coming from him and his former antagonists.“The economic upheaval Vermonters have experienced has contributed to serious troubles in our state’s fiscal situation.  But despite these challenges, we can feel good about the work done here, under the Golden Dome, in 2010,” Douglas said in his adjournment address. “While other states are cutting programs and raising taxes in response to the fiscal crisis, Vermont, I am proud to say, is moving in a different direction.  We are looking toward the future and striving for economic success.”Speaker of the House Shap Smith had similar sentiments: “Vermonters can be proud of the work the legislature did this year under very difficult circumstances. The Legislature, working with the administration, put in place policies that will create new jobs and restore our state’s fiscal health while avoiding devastating cuts and new broad-based taxes.”Both sides early on agreed that the bitterness from last year had to be set aside this year in order to resolve what turned out to be a $170 million budget shortfall in the usually contentious $1.08 billion General Fund budget. That potential deficit included $113.2 in federal stimulus money.The hole was filled in large and small ways. Large: $38.9 million in Human Services, between cuts and a $12 million tax increase on hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies; $37.8 million in Challenges for Change, by making government more efficient, many have wondered whether this will actually be achieved; $16.97 in state retirement savings ($15.2 million from teachers); $13.3 million in forgiven Medicaid expenses; $9.27 million in pay and benefit cuts from state workers negotiated last year with the administration; many millions transferred from other budgets, as insurance fees or Medicaid reimbursements for special education, and other monies moved around to and from other budgets, but not from new revenues or cuts. Small: Several items including $1.1 million expanding the tobacco tax, $5 million in a carryover from FY 2010, and $1.1 million in greater tax enforcement.The Legislature not only balanced the budget, it did not raise broad-based taxes and instead made cuts to the capital gains and estate taxes, which were raised last year. It was those taxes that more than anything prompted the governor’s veto last year.Having said all that, Vermont will face perhaps a dire situaton next year. As of now, there is no federal stimulus money earmarked for states. While it is possible, even likely, that Congress and the Obama Administration will renew its budget-relief effort for states, which is effectively a federal tax cut, Vermont cannot assume that it will be forthcoming. As things stand now, Vermont faces a looming $122 million General Fund deficit next year (fiscal 2012). As economic conditions change, that number could swing considerably for the better or worse.last_img read more

Secretary of State seeks nominations for Centennial Nonprofit Awards

first_imgIs your nonprofit a century old?  If yes, then the Secretary of State is looking for you!  Secretary Deb Markowitz is seeking applicants for the 2010 Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards program.  This program honors nonprofits that have operated in Vermont for at least 100 years. Any nonprofit that has been in operation in Vermont for 100 years or more can participate in this awards program by filling out an application form. Secretary Markowitz said, “The Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Award acknowledges Vermont’s oldest nonprofits for enriching our heritage. This program deepens our understanding of how Vermont’s nonprofits have enhanced our community life during the last hundred years.” “It is important to recognize Vermont’s nonprofits for their longevity,” added Markowitz. “It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep a nonprofit active for 100 years.”Award recipients will be honored at a reception to be held later this year at the historic Vermont State House.   Applications are due by September 30, 2010.Source: Secretary of State. 8.31.2010. For more information about the awards program and to print an application form, visit the Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards page on the Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sec.state.vt.us/centennial_nonprofit.html(link is external) or contact Ginny Colbert at 802-828-2148.last_img read more

Alabama company to acquire Shoreham Telephone Company

first_imgOtelco,Otelco Inc. (NASDAQ: OTT)(TSX: OTT.un), a wireline telecommunications services provider in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Shoreham Telephone Company, Inc. for approximately $4.5 million in cash, subject to certain purchase price adjustments.‘The acquisition of Shoreham is a strategically important opportunity for Otelco to continue the expansion of our footprint in New England,’ said Mike Weaver, President and Chief Executive Officer of Otelco. ‘While Shoreham has similar roots to Otelco as a rural wireline telephone provider, its existing network in Vermont provides an excellent point from which our CLEC (OTT Communications) can begin serving our fourth state. We are very excited about this transaction and its impact as a catalyst for future growth.’Shoreham, located in Shoreham, Vermont, is a privately owned company that has provided telecommunications solutions to residential and business customers for nearly a century. The company offers a complete set of voice, data and Internet services to its customers in middle Vermont. For the year ended December 31, 2010, Shoreham generated approximately $2.4 million in total revenue and had 4,975 access line equivalents.Otelco plans to finance the acquisition from cash on its balance sheet. The acquisition is expected to close in 2011 following regulatory approvals.ABOUT OTELCOOtelco Inc. provides wireline telecommunications services in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia. The Company’s services include local and long distance telephone, network access, transport, digital high-speed data and dial-up internet access, cable television and other telephone related services. With more than 99,000 voice and data access lines which are collectively referred to as access line equivalents, Otelco is among the top 25 largest local exchange carriers in the United States based on number of access lines. Otelco operates ten incumbent telephone companies serving rural markets, or rural local exchange carriers. It also provides competitive retail and wholesale communications services through several subsidiaries. For more information, visit the Company’s web site at www.OtelcoInc.com(link is external).FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSStatements in this press release that are not statements of historical or current fact constitute forward looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other unknown factors that could cause the timing of the acquisition to differ from that expressed by such forward-looking statements. In addition to statements which explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements labeled with the terms ‘believes’, ‘belief,’ ‘expects,’ ‘intends,’ ‘anticipates,’ ‘plans,’ or similar terms to be uncertain and forward looking. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.ONEONTA, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–4.5.2011last_img read more

IEEFA Report Sees $4 Billion Hit to Ratepayers in Ohio FirstEnergy Bailout

first_imgIEEFA Report Sees $4 Billion Hit to Ratepayers in Ohio FirstEnergy Bailout FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dan Gearino for the Columbus Dispatch:A new report says consumers would pay an extra $4 billion if regulators approve a profit guarantee for FirstEnergy, a forecast that is at odds with the company’s assertion that the plan would lead to a net savings of $560 million.The report is from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a Cleveland-based research group that tends to support clean-energy policies.“Rather than drag Ohio’s economy down with an additional $4 billion in unnecessary expenses, the state should recognize that markets are changing, support the development of cleaner, modern and more efficient resources,” said Sandy Buchanan, the group’s executive director, in a statement. She added that the state also should have a plan to help workers displaced by the changes.The profit guarantee would cover some of FirstEnergy’s power plants, providing additional income at times when the market price of electricity is low.The PUCO hearing did include testimony from parties that say FirstEnergy’s forecast likely is incorrect. This includes the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which commissioned its own study showing that consumers would see their costs increase the same amount shown in this new report, $4 billion.The different projections are a key part of the case because FirstEnergy is seeking to show that the plan is in the public interest. According to the company, consumers will see a small increase in their electricity bills in the plant’s first few years, followed by a decrease in later years, leading to a net savings.The contrast in the forecasts results from differing views about whether the electricity market will soon recover from years of oversupply and low prices. FirstEnergy’s estimates are based on the idea that prices will recover much more quickly than the institute, and others, are expecting.Full article ($): FirstEnergy profit guarantee would cost consumers billionsDarren Sweeney for SNL:Ohio ratepayers will pay approximately $4 billion under FirstEnergy Corp.’s plan to have Ohio customers subsidize four “unprofitable” power plants, a research group said in an independent analysis.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, or IEEFA, released its report, “A $4 Billion Bailout in the Buckeye State: FirstEnergy’s Plan Will Cost Customers for Years to Come,” just a few weeks after the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio wrapped up hearings on proposed income guarantees from FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities and American Electric Power Co. Inc. subsidiary AEP Ohio. AEP Ohio is the trade name of Ohio Power Co.“The goal of FirstEnergy in putting forth this ratepayer-subsidized plan is to prolong the life of outdated plants in Ohio, put customers on the hook for the escalating costs of these plants and ensure future profits for FirstEnergy shareholders,” IEEFA Executive Director Sandy Buchanan said in a Feb. 8 news release promoting the study. “The PUCO should reject it.”The report was commissioned by David Schlissel, IEEFA’s director of resource planning, and Cathy Kunkel, an IEEFA energy analyst. It details the “financial and market risks” tied to the power plants at the center of FirstEnergy’s proposal — W.H. Sammis, Davis-Besse and Ohio Valley Electric Corp. assets Kyger Creek and Clifty Creek.FirstEnergy agreed to reduce its proposed income guarantee for the power plants to eight years from 15 years, cut its ROE to 10.38% and promised at least $100 million in customer credits. The retail rate stability rider, if approved, would run from June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2024. (Case No. 14-1297-EL-SSO)FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities will buy the power from the FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. and Ohio Valley Electric plants and then sell the output into PJM Interconnection LLC wholesale energy and capacity markets, with customers receiving rate credits or charges to offset power purchase costs. The company has said “customers are projected to save more than $560 million over the plan’s eight-year term as retail power prices increase over time.”“FirstEnergy is using greatly inflated forecasts of future natural gas prices and PJM electricity market prices to justify its proposal,” IEEFA said in its study. “FirstEnergy’s proposal — under an uninflated, reasonable natural gas price outlook — would in truth result in a net cost to ratepayers of approximately $4 billion, rather than the net $561 million gain that the company promises.”IEEFA argues that its forecast is “far more probable” based on recent economic trends and market conditions, such as a “precipitous decline in natural gas prices”; the increased competition from renewable energy resources; “substantial declines” in the power generated at the coal units in the PPA; steep declines in energy market prices; “flat or relatively flat growth in electric demand in PJM”; volatile capacity market prices; and the “potential for higher operating costs and/or declining operating performance as the PPA coal-fired units age.”Full article ($): Group calls FirstEnergy’s Ohio PPA plan ‘$4 billion bailout’ in analysislast_img read more

Administration Considers Easing Cleanup-Bonding Restrictions on 3 Recently Bankrupt U.S. Coal Giants

first_imgAdministration Considers Easing Cleanup-Bonding Restrictions on 3 Recently Bankrupt U.S. Coal Giants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享SNL:Limits on coal company self-bonding will be reconsidered by the Trump administration and possibly rescinded or revoked, the U.S. Department of Interior wrote in a recent report.Interior highlighted potential reversals of Obama administration initiatives in a report responding to an executive order calling for a review of actions that potentially burden domestic energy. One of its targets is an Obama-era policy advisory issued August 2016 in response to bankruptcies of three major coal firms holding approximately $2.5 billion of unsecured or noncollateralized self-bonds guaranteeing reclamation of mined lands. The policy urged discretion and to not accept new or additional self-bonds for any permit until markets reach an equilibrium.All three of those coal companies have now completed bankruptcy restructurings, and Interior said it will reconsider the scope of its U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, or OSMRE, policy advisory and revise or rescind it “where appropriate.”Opponents of the practice worry the public could get stuck with cleanup costs if a company becomes insolvent.More ($): Trump administration giving self-bonding at coal operations another looklast_img read more

Michigan’s Presque Isle Coal Plant to Close in 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Mining Journal:The Presque Isle Power Plant is on track to close in 2020, officials say. The closing date of the coal-fired plant was confirmed at the Upper Peninsula Energy Summit Wednesday at Northern Michigan University.The facility will be replaced by two new natural gas-fueled power plants in Marquette and Baraga counties to be owned and operated by Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. The plants were approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission in October. The $275 million project will be capable of generating a combined 183 megawatts of power and both plants are expected to be completed by the middle of 2019.MPSC Chairwoman Sally Talberg said three new natural gas pipelines were also approved in the Upper Peninsula. Two of the pipelines will feed the new UMERC generation facilities, Talberg said, with a third project consisting of a 43-mile natural gas pipeline, to be operated by Semco Energy Gas Company, between Wells Township and Marquette, which was approved by the MPSC in August.She said the pipelines, because they would be looped — which means two or more pipelines running parallel to each other — would also address vulnerabilities in natural gas service in the U.P. and could also encourage economic development.More: Energy Summit: Officials Talk Plans and Improvements Michigan’s Presque Isle Coal Plant to Close in 2020last_img read more

Norway sovereign funds dumps coal-heavy PacifiCorp bonds

first_imgNorway sovereign funds dumps coal-heavy PacifiCorp bonds FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Norway’s central bank, which manages the country’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, has sold its holdings of bonds issued by PacifiCorp, a U.S. utility owned by Warren Buffett, in its latest round of ethical and environmental divestitures.Norges Bank said it has excluded PacifiCorp from the portfolio of the Government Pension Fund Global, widely ranked the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, because the company derives more than 30% of its business from coal.The central bank also placed PacifiCorp’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and fellow subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co. under observation, meaning they could also be excluded from the fund’s portfolio in the future.As of the end of 2017, the Norwegian fund owned $164 million in bonds in Berkshire Hathaway Energy, $129 million in PacifiCorp, and $33 million in MidAmerican, according to the Financial Times.Norges Bank also excluded Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. from the fund’s portfolio over coal use.More ($): Norway’s sovereign fund ditches Warren Buffett-owned utility over coal uselast_img read more