Researchers in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are teaming up with IBM to work with farmers in Georgia’s Lower Flint River Basin to enhance water efficiency by up to 20 percent.The college and IBM are collaborating with the Flint River Partnership — which includes the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Nature Conservancy — to help farmers make the best irrigation scheduling decisions in order to conserve water, improve crop yields and mitigate the impact of future droughts.The Lower Flint River Basin is one of the most diverse and ecologically rich river systems in the Southeast. The area is also the epicenter of agriculture in Georgia: Its 27 counties contribute more than $2 billion in farm-based revenue annually to the region’s economy. Irrigation is central to production, and because of the area’s unique hydrogeology, maximizing water conservation helps support sensitive habitat systems.UGA faculty members George Vellidis, Wes Porter, Ian Flitcroft, Calvin Perry, Craig Kvien and John Snider have worked to develop the irrigation models and recruit farmers to test the new system. “The UGA-CAES faculty have been working with the Flint River Partnership for a number of years to develop tools, techniques and technologies to help growers improve the efficiency of agricultural water use,” said Perry, who is superintendent of UGA’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, Ga. Stripling Irrigation Research Park has been the proving ground for many of these tools, he continued, and serves as a focal point for many of these research, Extension and outreach activities.“Our job is to help farmers conserve water. Irrigation scheduling based on highly accurate weather forecasts and real-time field data will optimize decision making and consequently reduce resource use,” said Marty McLendon, chairman of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District. “Having access to such forecasts and field data on a mobile platform makes the data relevant, so that we can make proactive irrigation scheduling decisions on the fly.”The Flint River Partnership is using IBM’s Deep Thunder precision weather forecasting service to refine farmers’ already successful irrigation models and water conservation practices. The added weather information will help farmers conserve more water and improve crop yields. Because the forecasts will be available on mobile devices, farmers will have 24-hour access to critical weather information in conjunction with other relevant field data. The partnership also is offering farmers the use of IBM Softlayer to manage their field and weather data and automate irrigation recommendations. UGA faculty have worked with the Flint River Partnership for many years on projects such as using variable-rate irrigation for precision water placement, the UGA Smart Sensor Array for monitoring soil moisture conditions and field mapping with Real Time Kinematic GPS, among others, Perry said. They also are “bringing in the UGA-led Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network to provide historic weather data for use in training the IBM Deep Thunder weather forecast system for localized, southwest Georgia conditions.”The integration of complex data streams generated by GPS-enabled farm equipment and in-field sensors with IBM’s Deep Thunder weather forecasting technology delivered to mobile devices will provide 72-hours advance notice of weather in the Flint region, allowing farmers to be more prepared to make decisions on when to irrigate, plant, fertilize and deploy labor resources.“Farming operations are highly sensitive to weather. In the U.S., that sensitivity is about $15 billion per year,” said Lloyd Treinish, distinguished engineer and chief scientist of IBM Research. “For example, the USDA estimates that 90 percent of crop losses are due to weather. In addition, improving efficiency in irrigation will reduce the impact in areas with limited water supplies. By better understanding and then predicting these weather effects, we can help mitigate these impacts.“Innovators like the Flint River Partnership are showing how they can leverage IBM’s advanced modeling and analytics to increase crop yields. When we consider the need to increase food availability to a growing population, their leadership is helping to create a more sustainable approach to agriculture.”For more information on the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, see striplingpark.org. For more information on the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, see caes.uga.edu.
The Alabama River near Clairborne Lock and Dam, one of the many obstacles competitors had to portage around during the event. Photo by Gerry Seavo James Salli O’Donnell paddling down the Tensaw River after 500+ miles of nearly nonstop paddling for six days. Paddlers Navigate Southern Waters During New Epic 10-Day Race O’Donnell arrived around five in the morning, after over five hours of paddling in near-ocean conditions in pure darkness with nothing but her red and green navigation lights providing illumination. Her total time was seven days, 15 hours, 19 minutes, and 54 seconds. Gilkin and Jordon arrived on Monday, September 23, nine long days after they first dipped their paddles. These four hardcore boaters impressively set precedent at one of the most challenging endurance events to ever emerge in the wild waters of the South. In the twilight hours of day six, the two early leaders were the only two solo boats left in the race, with the tandem kayak crew of Ryan Gilkin and Susan Jordon hanging on as the sole team boat. O’Donnell, who had propelled herself to a 20-mile lead, eventually was outpaced by Johnson after they battled through Alabama’s delta region. Both ended up crossing Mobile Bay at night in surf conditions, with Johnson arriving just before midnight at Fort Morgan, winning the event with a time of seven days, eight hours, one minute, and 55 seconds. Back in September a small group of some of the region’s toughest paddlers convened at Weiss Lake to start an epic 10-day, on-the-water race across Alabama. The inaugural Great Alabama 650 took racers across the majority of the Alabama Scenic River Trail—the longest river trail in a single state—for a 650-mile adventure that mixed fast whitewater with plenty of flat wide-open stretches. Winner Bobby Johnson recounts his journey at Fort Morgan Historic Site after a night of paddling across Mobile Bay in surf conditions. Out of the gate, a dozen paddlers stepped up to the challenge, and an early rivalry ensued between Salli O’Donnell and Bobby Johnson. O’Donnell is a retired Army officer and a lithe nearly 60-year-old with extensive ultra-paddling experience. She led the event within the first three miles, paddling her Epic V8Pro surfski (an Australian-style ocean kayak), and was in the lead heading in and out of the first portage. Trailing not far behind was Johnson—nearly 30 years her junior, paddling his Epic 18X—a strong paddlesports racer and winner of the previous year’s 300-mile Everglades Challenge in Florida. The course began in the Appalachian foothills of northeastern Alabama with the crossing of Weiss Lake. From there, paddlers negotiated the Coosa River, which included a rumbling whitewater section, several miles down the Alabama River, and then a labyrinth of paddling through the remote delta region of the state, along a few rivers that included the Mobile, Tombigbee, and Tensaw. They also endured nine portages, carrying boats and cargo between two navigable waters, as well as 70-mile paddling days, lurking alligators, navigation under extreme fatigue, and traveling significant distances between resupply points.
By Kay Valle/Diálogo March 05, 2019 On January 18, the Honduran government launched Operation Morazán II, led by its National Interagency Security Force (FUSINA, in Spanish). Morazán II was first implemented in the departments of Francisco Morazán, Olancho, Yoro, and Cortés, and it will be extended to the country’s 18 departments during 2019. The objective of Morazán II is to counter drug and arms trafficking, unlawful association, homicide, petty crime, and related offenses. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández described Morazán II as an operation to liberate areas and fully prosecute crime. “We won’t allow criminals to do as they please, like in the past,” Hernández told the press. About 2,000 units of the security forces deployed to the four departments to counter crime in those areas. “[The operation] was first implemented in these four departments since they reported the highest crime and murder rates in early 2019,” Honduran Army First Lieutenant José Antonio Coello, FUSINA spokesperson, told Diálogo. “Narcotrafficking in Honduras causes death, damages health, and produces violence and insecurity, and all Hondurans suffer the consequences of this illicit activity.” Liberating the country The operation will be carried out in three phases, with the first seeking to gain the trust of the people and encourage them to report suspicious activities. Authorities will also focus on capturing leaders of criminal gangs to dismantle them. During the second phase, security forces conduct security operations with roadblocks, checkpoints, and patrols. Finally, the third phase consists of stabilization with preventive controls and social projects. “Once the third stage ends, monitoring will be constant in these areas, since we can’t conduct operations and leave [the place] unprotected,” said 1st. Lt. Coello. “Monitoring is maintained by refurbishing police posts and detachments, and improving the quality of life of security personnel, so they can do their jobs better and provide services to areas that are being liberated.” Morazán’s first edition kicked off in January 2014 to counter organized crime, narcotrafficking, and gangs. According to the United Nations, Honduras was among the most dangerous countries worldwide in 2011, with 92 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. Since then, FUSINA’s specialized work contributed to sharply reduce these figures. “We ended 2018 with a murder rate of 40 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants,” said 1st Lt. Coello. “The goal will be to drop to 34 or 32 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants by the end of 2019.” Immediate achievements The concentration of units in the initial four departments struck a tough blow against criminal groups. In less than a month, from Morazán II’s launch until January 12, FUSINA captured 45 alleged criminals—including leaders and other members of criminal organizations—in the conflict area of Valle de Amarateca, Francisco Morazán department. When the operation advances to the other departments, it will count with the support of military troops from around the country. “Due to the territorial disposition and organization of the Armed Forces, they can be present in every department to contribute to the efforts of the other components,” Honduran Navy Captain José Domingo Meza, director of Public Relations for the Armed Forces, told Diálogo. By mid-February, the operation had had positive outcomes. According to FUSINA, authorities dismantled seven criminal rings and captured more than 2,000 criminals, 644 of whom had arrest warrants. “The dismantled criminal gangs were some of the most dangerous,” said 1st Lt. Coello. “They generated violence, multiple homicides, turf wars, attacks, theft, extortion, and hired killings, as well as petty and organized crime.” In addition, deployed units seized 11 kilograms of cocaine and destroyed 90,000 marijuana plants. Authorities also destroyed a processing lab for illicit substances, six clandestine airstrips, and seized $36,000. “This is a historical FUSINA mission to change the unfortunate situation our country underwent,” said Honduran Army Brigadier General Germán Velázquez Romero, FUSINA commander. “We are achieving it, and most of all we have the will to do a thorough job.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two suspects abducted a woman and raped her at gunpoint in Hempstead last week, Nassau County police said Friday, 10 days after, in a wanted flyer seeking tips on the suspects’ whereabouts.Roberto Rodriguez-Euceda and the second suspect, whose identity is unknown, allegedly raped the victim at 4 p.m. on July 8 “while displaying what appeared to be black semi-automatic handguns,” according to the flyer.The suspect was described as 32 years old, 5-feet, 1-inch tall with a medium build, black hair, a beard and birth mark under his right nostril, police said. Investigators released a photo of the suspect in their request for information leading to his arrest.The second suspect was described as a 30-year-old Hispanic man with long, dark hair in a pony tail, a bar on his left ear and a tattoo on the right forearm of two fish as well as the letters “C” and “E” on his index and middle finger of his left hand, police said. Neither a name nor photo was available for the second suspect.The alleged assailants fled the scene in a late model two-door black pickup truck with a light color or white cover over the bed.Authorities said that the suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.A police spokesman said no further information was available about specifically where in Hempstead the woman was abducted.Crime Stoppers ask anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects or any information about this crime to call 1-800-244-TIPS (8477), or call Special Victims Squad detectives at 516-573-4022.
In 1956, Bill Fair and Earl Isaac founded FICO. The premise of FICO was that data could be used to improve business decisions. In 1981, FICO introduced their first credit score algorithm that would become known as “The FICO Score”. Utilizing basic data elements about past behavior allowed FICO to develop a standard credit score to enhance relationships between lenders and borrowers. Now, with the rise of Big Data and Analytics, credit unions can supplement the use of FICO scores by building their own risk scores for members.At traditional credit scoring agencies, data is transformed by proprietary algorithms from databases that are kept secret from lenders who purchase the scores. However, credit unions now store vast amounts of data on their servers (from many different sources) about their membership. This data can be used to build their own member risk scores.Relationship-Based PricingCredit unions should make decisions based on the relationship they have with each member. Some members only joined the credit union for a low loan rate and intend to close their membership as soon as the loan is paid off. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » I had a different blog topic in mind for this week, but then I saw the jaw-dropping results from an employee satisfaction survey that showed 49 percent of all workers “have thought about leaving their current organization.” As the president and CEO of an organization, this is concerning to me. Not only from a business standpoint – the strain on other teammates when one leaves can cause burnout, and the cost to on-board a new employee is high – but also a personal one.The survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), revealed that the top reasons employees quit is poor leadership and bad workplace culture. Employees shouldn’t dread coming to work – but a quarter of workers do. And then they take that frustration home with them.Leaders should strive to create positive cultures where employees want to come to work every day. Sure, we all have bad days and stressful times, but ensuring teammates work well together, can communicate openly – including space to share frustrations and be heard – and feel appreciated for their contributions is key. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Business continuity is the leading topic for two new, upcoming compliance webinars that provide key considerations and best practices for credit unions.“Because of the pandemic, credit unions are testing their business continuity plans,” said Melisa Kallestad, director of compliance & lending education at CUNA. “Many credit unions are finding weaknesses in their plans and are looking for advice on how to make enhancements. These two upcoming webinars offer timely information on considerations for designing a more effective business continuity plan and give professionals a chance to work through their questions with peers and subject matter experts.”Choose from:Business Continuity Roundtable: The Business Continuity Management Cycle – July 27, 2020 continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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“The IOC and Senegal understand that this news will be disappointing for many young athletes. Both parties can only appeal to their understanding,” it added.IOC chief Thomas Bach thanked Senegal president President Macky Sall for their “exceptional relationship of trust and quality”.”I am sure that, together, we will organize fantastic Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 for Senegal, the entire African continent and all the young athletes of the world,” Bach said.The four-year delay was ratified by the IOC on the fist day of its conference moved from its intended location in Tokyo to video link. The 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar will now take place instead in 2026, the IOC and hosts Senegal announced on Wednesday.The four-year delay was forced by the global health crisis generated by coronavirus, and the holding back by a year of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and a slew of other major international sporting competitions.”The postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, the National Olympic Committees and the International Federations to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” read a joint statement issued by Olympic rulers the IOC and Senegal. “I take this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the Executive Board and welcome the commitment of its teams, working side by side with us, to make Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event in Africa, a successful and memorable occasion,” said President Sall.Singapore held the inaugural Summer Youth Games in 2010. Topics :
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cost club football $14 billion this year worldwide, around one third of its value, a leading official at global soccer body FIFA said on Wednesday.Olli Rehn, who heads the FIFA committee set up to tackle the effects of the pandemic, said that FIFA, along with financial consultants, had estimated the club game to be worth between $40 billion and $45 billion worldwide.He said the figure of $14 billion was based on the current scenario, where football is slowly restarting after a three-month hiatus earlier this year, but it would be a “different ball game” if the pandemic did not let up. FIFA has allocated $1.5 billion to help tackle the effects of the pandemic and Rehn said 150 of the 211 member associations had so far applied for funds.He said that, while football was slowly re-awakening, another downturn could not be ruled out.”The critical thing will be whether a vaccine will be developed and can be used, and that we have medical and other means to fully contain and tame the pandemic, and that is uncertain,” he said.”We cannot rule out worse developments and that would be another ball game if the pandemic were to continue in a severe form next year. Now we are working on the basis of the current scenario.” Topics : “Football has been hit very hard by the coronavirus pandemic,” Rehn, a former EU commissioner and now governor of the Bank of Finland, told Reuters television.”It has created plenty of turmoil at different levels with some professional clubs facing very serious difficulties. I’m also very concerned about youth academies and lower division clubs.”Rehn said that football in South America had been especially hard hit, while Africa and Asia were also a concern.”It is a real danger that the good work that has been done developing football in Asia and Africa could be ruined, so we want to soften the blow and maintain the development that has been done,” he said.