Tomatoes and Bluebirds

first_img“Gardening in Georgia” kicks off the 2008 season with tomatoes, bluebirds, seed germination and raised beds. “Gardening in Georgia,” with show host Walter Reeves premieres April 9.The show geared just for Georgia gardening conditions airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across Georgia each Wednesday at 7 p.m. and beginning April 16 will repeat Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Reeves visits Bonnie Farms Tomato Greenhouse in Alabama, where many plants, including Big Boy tomatoes, are grown and shipped to be consumed on your table.Building Bluebird boxes, while tangling on the tongue, is something Cory Croft at Callaway Gardens knows all about. He shows Reeves how to build this beautiful bird’s home.Figuring out whether or not old seeds still germinate is no longer tricky. Reeves demonstrates an easy way to test old seeds for viability.Toiling in the garden can easily tire our backs out, especially stooping to weed or plant. Reeves creates a waist-high raised bed that allows for easy access to keep gardening time productive and pain-free. “Gardening in Georgia” is coproduced by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPB.last_img read more

Stimulus checks

first_imgYou must have a valid Social Security number to receive a check, he said.People who are not normally required to file a federal tax return will not receive a stimulus payment unless they take the extra step and file, Rupured said. “As long as they have more than $3,000 in income they’ll need to file to make sure they get a payment,” he said.Some people are not eligible, he said. If you have less than $3,000 in income or if you have income above a certain level, you are not eligible. The Internal Revenue Service Web site www.irs.gov has a calculator to determine how much you will receive. You will need your 2007 federal income tax return to use it. The payment schedule is there, too. By Allie ByrdUniversity of GeorgiaThe U.S. government is giving money away this summer. But to be eligible for it, people must file a 2007 tax return. As part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the U.S. government plans to return money to U.S. citizens in an effort to charge the country’s economy, which is tittering on the verge of recession. Eligible people will receive up to $600. Parents will get $300 per child under 17 years old.“The stimulus is targeted to a broad number of consumers, so there are a lot of people who are eligible for at least some portion of the stimulus payment,” said Michael Rupured, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension consumer economics specialist. “For most people, all you need to do is file your 2007 income taxes.” last_img read more

Thrips Damage

first_imgA tiny insect proved to be a formidable foe for Georgia farmers in 2013.Whether thrips will deliver a similar punch in 2014 remains to be seen.“Certainly after this past year, if farmers weren’t thinking about thrips before, they’ll be thinking about them this year,” said Mark Abney, peanut entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. There are more than 7,000 species of thrips, but only two cause problems for Georgia farmers and UGA researchers — tobacco thrips and western flower thrips.These two thrips caused widespread damage in peanut fields across the state last year. This was possibly due to abnormal environmental conditions, including a mild winter combined with a colder spring and sporadic rainfall throughout the summer. Resistant plants aren’t fullproofOver the past couple of years, thrips and the devastating disease they transmit,— tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), — were not an issue for peanut farmers who plant TSWV-resistant varieties. This is largely because of the widespread planting of TSWV resistant peanut cultivars and generally low thrips pressure on peanuts. Not anymore.“You definitely need to continue to use the practices that are recommended by the University of Georgia for thrips and virus management,” Abney said.UGA Extension recommends peanut farmers plant later in May than in April, as earlier planted peanuts are more likely to be infested by thrips. Also, planting peanuts at higher plant densities reduces the incidence of the virus, so higher seeding rates are encouraged. They love cotton, tooWhile thrips’ impact on peanuts is seen mostly through the transmission of TSWV, the pests can severely damage cotton by sucking moisture out of the plant. This can stunt cotton’s growth and cause leaves to be misshapen and crinkled, which is what many cotton plants were left with this growing season.“They’re always bad when we plant cotton real early,” said Phillip Roberts, a cotton entomologist with UGA Extension. “Thrips are always a significant pest on April-planted cotton.”Like Abney, Roberts is uncertain as to why more cotton acreage was impacted by thrips last year, but suggests the cooler spring may have delayed their buildup.Thrips’ peak season is typically early spring, from March-April. During the winter, they feed on weeds, their temporary host until spring crops are planted. Weather plays a big roleAs temperatures increase, so does the population of thrips. Winter weeds begin to die in the spring and thrips move en masse to the younger, immature plants in the fields. Thrips also benefit from the shedding of pine pollen, a significant source of protein. When weather conditions are favorable and plenty of hosts are available, the populations of thrips thrive. This was the case in 2013. “If everything clicks in a year, their populations explode,” said Rajagopalbabu Srinivasan, a UGA entomologist based in Tifton.With surging populations come more opportunities for TSWV transmission. Like thrips, TSWV can affect multiple hosts, and both can be imminent threats to some of the state’s top agricultural commodities. Tomato and peanut crops suffered heavily in the ‘90s.That’s why peanut farmers are encouraged to take action so a similar fate doesn’t occur this upcoming planting season.last_img read more

Egg Candling

first_imgRaising a flock of backyard chickens ensures that you have a steady supply of fresh eggs. But if you plan to sell those eggs, Georgia law requires the eggs be candled.“Candling is the age-old method of looking inside an egg — without breaking it open — and figuring out what’s going on inside,” said Brian Maddy, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent in Troup County. “In the days before electricity, candles were used to illuminate the eggs.”Farmers initially candled eggs to determine if a viable embryo was inside and to check the development of the baby chick, he said.The procedure also helps farmers determine the quality of the eggs for human consumption. The amount of air inside the shell indicates the egg’s freshness. Looking at the egg’s air cell, the yolk and the albumen, or egg white, determines whether the egg should be graded AA, A, B or inedible.“Small poultry flocks have become very popular in Georgia, and some backyard farmers are very interested in supplementing their income by selling farm-fresh eggs,” Maddy said.To be sold, all chicken eggs must be evaluated by a certified grader and appropriately packaged and labeled in accordance with the Georgia Egg Law and Georgia Food Act. To sell eggs to a grocery store, bakery or restaurant, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDOA) must license the farmer’s candling facility. The no-cost, lifetime certificate is obtained by passing both written and hands-on candling examinations.Experts with the GDOA teach classes on egg candling and local UGA Extension offices often host these classes. Four egg candling classes have been scheduled by GDOA in July: Friday, July 15, in Spalding County; Monday, July 25, in Bibb County; and Wednesday, July 27, in Walker County and Lowndes County. For more information, contact Bradley Brown at (770) 535-5955 or Hayley Pitts at (229) 386-3489 at the GDOA.last_img read more

Georgia Thanksgiving

first_imgWhile you are planning your Thanksgiving menu, save a spot next to the turkey for these former finalists in the University of Georgia’s Flavor of Georgia food product contest.Whether added to an old recipe or served on their own, these delicious additions to the table will have Georgia on your guests’ minds, and in their bellies too.Wild Elderberry Pepper Jelly, Fairywood Thicket Farm, Fairburn, Georgia2018 Jams and Jellies Winner A festive preserve for the holidays — surprise your guests by using this flavorful elderberry pepper jelly instead of a traditional red or green pepper jelly.Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter, Goodson Pecans, Leesburg, Georgia2018 Miscellaneous and Grand Prize Winner Pass the butter, please! If you love cinnamon, you’ll want to spread this butter on all of your Thanksgiving breads and rolls. It makes a great addition to cookies, too. Black Rock Cheese, CalyRoad Creamery, Sandy Springs, Georgia2018 Dairy Products FinalistThis aged goat cheese with crushed black pepper is great as an appetizer with crackers or as a snack between meals.Beecon Grind, White Oak Pastures, Bluffton, Georgia2018 Meat and Seafood FinalistIf turkey isn’t your thing, or you’re looking to mix things up, grill up a delicious burger or make sliders for an appetizer with this grass-fed beef (80%) and Iberico bacon (20%) mix.Ginger’s Bunkhouse Spicy Ginger Ale, Bunkhouse Beverages, Athens, Georgia2018 Beverages WinnerSpice up your holiday with this twist on a classic soda. Serve over ice, add to your favorite drink or make your own concoction. It’s guaranteed to be delicious.Pimento Cheese, Pine Street Market, Avondale Estates, Georgia2019 Dairy Products Finalist It’s not Thanksgiving in the South unless you serve this creamy spread.H.L. Franklin’s Healthy Honey Creamed Honey, H.L. Franklin Healthy Honey, Statesboro, Georgia2018 Honey and Related Products Winner This whipped, creamy spread is made of 100% pure, raw and unfiltered Georgia honey. Slap it on a dinner roll or a biscuit if you’re feeling really Southern. Georgia Blueberry Pie Filling, Pie Provisions, Kennesaw, Georgia2019 Confections WinnerThis pie filling can be used in many delicious desserts. Get creative and use it as an ingredient shortcut for your cobblers, trifles and, of course, pie.For more ideas on Georgia-grown food and beverages for your Thanksgiving, visit www.flavorofga.com or look for many Flavor of Georgia products at Stripling’s General Store locations, the Buford Highway Farmers Market, the Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia, and at farmers markets and grocery stores near you.Do you have a food or beverage product that should be on Thanksgiving tables statewide?  Information on the 2020 University of Georgia Flavor of Georgia food product contest will be available in December, and registration will open to the public in January.last_img read more

VSAC Issues Revenue Bonds

first_imgThe Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC) recently issued$112.5 million in revenue bonds to meet the demand for new educationloans.Most of the bond proceeds will be used to finance conventionalfederal education loans, primarily Stafford loans for students and PLUSloans for parents. A smaller share will be used to cover what are known asalternative or supplemental loans. Increasingly, education expenses exceedwhat students are able to cover using government grants and loans, forcingstudents to turn to more costly alternative financing. “We remainconcerned about the amounts families are having to borrow to pay forcollege, whether through the federal loan program or other sources,” saidVSAC President Don Vickers said. “As a result, we will continue toadvocate at both the federal and state levels for more grants andscholarships, which, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid.”Despite significant education debt levels in Vermont, VSAC borrowers continue tomaintain a good track record in repaying their loans. The most recentdefault rate for VSAC borrowers is 3.1 percent, one of the lowest rates inthe nation.last_img read more

St Michael’s College Awarded Grant

first_imgSaint Michael’s College received a grant for $116,640 from the DavisEducational Foundation on May 5 for a program focused on helping integratenew faculty into teaching in a liberal arts college, President MarcvanderHeyden announced.The grant will support a New Instructors Program, which will include aseries of one-hour seminars addressing student learning styles, classroommanagement, effective pedagogy and understanding of the Saint Michael’sLiberal Studies requirement. It will also support a program linking afaculty-teaching mentor with each new faculty member to help him or herdevelop an effective teaching style.”What’s exciting is that this grant allows the college to work withincoming faculty members as they make the complicated transition fromgraduate programs at large universities to teaching at an undergraduateliberal arts college,” said Dr John Kenney, Saint Michael’s Dean of theCollege. “Above all it will help new faculty focus their efforts andtheir disciplinary learning on effective undergraduate instruction,” DeanKenney said.The grant will help new faculty “transition from the discipline-focusedscholarship of the typical Ph.D.-granting university to the moreinterconnected curriculum of the liberal arts college,” according to thegrant proposal.The project will extend over three years and will include some 32 newfaculty members, counting eight per year, and including those who began atSaint Michael’s during the 2002-2003 academic year.Located in Falmouth Maine, the Davis Educational Foundation, which awardedthe grant, was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after hisretirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.last_img read more

Chittenden Reports Earnings

first_imgChittenden Reports Earnings and Quarterly Dividend; Announces Stock SplitChittenden Corporation (NYSE: CHZ) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul A. Perrault, announced July 22 earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2004, of $18.2 million or $0.49 per diluted share, compared to $18.6 million or $0.51 per diluted share a year ago. Included in the current quarter results were conversion and restructuring charges of $1.3 million (pre-tax), or approximately $0.02 per share on an after-tax basis. For the first six months of 2004, earnings were $35.6 million or $0.96 per diluted share, compared to $35.2 million or $1.00 per diluted share a year ago. Chittenden also announced its quarterly dividend of $0.22 per share. The dividend will be paid on August 13, 2004, to shareholders of record on July 30, 2004.In addition, Chittenden’s Board of Directors declared a 5-for-4 common stock split. The effect will be an increase in outstanding shares of Chittenden’s common stock from 36.9 million to 46.1 million based on shares outstanding on June 30, 2004. The record date for the stock split is as of the close of business on August 27, 2004. The additional shares will be distributed on or about September 10, 2004.In making the announcement, Perrault said, “I’m pleased to report that we successfully completed the most comprehensive information technology conversion in Chittenden’s history, as expected, during the second quarter. The completion of this important project well positions us to more effectively serve our customers, and enhance efficiencies in providing Chittenden’s hallmark high-quality service. At the same time, we merged the former Granite Bank into Ocean National Bank, and consolidated Granite’s insurance operation into Chittenden Insurance Group. We’re encouraged that, in spite of all this internal activity, loan growth during the quarter was solid, including double- digit annualized growth in C&I loans, and strong growth in deposits outpaced the same period of a year ago.”Total loans at June 30, 2004 increased $45.7 million from March 31, 2004 and $101.2 million from year-end. The increase, consistent throughout the franchise, from the first quarter of 2004 was predominately in the commercial and commercial real estate loan portfolios; combined, these two portfolios increased $74.3 million from March 31, 2004 and $156.1 million from year-end.Municipal loans experienced their historical seasonal trend, declining $25.8 million from March 31, 2004, as June 30th coincides with the end of the fiscal year for most municipalities. Total deposits increased $80.0 million from the first quarter and declined $55.6 million from year-end. Chittenden’s municipal deposit balances typically peak at year-end and decline steadily to their lows at mid-year. Declines in this sector were approximately $60 million and $45 million in the first and second quarters of 2004, respectively. Meanwhile, the non-municipal book grew approximately $125 million from March 31, 2004, after declining approximately $75 million in the first quarter.At June 30, 2004 borrowings declined $32.3 million from the first quarter. This decline was associated with lower levels of overnight Fed Funds purchased as a result of higher deposit levels. The Company’s net interest margin for the second quarter of 2004 was 4.18%, a slight increase from the first quarter of 2004 and up four basis points from the second quarter of 2003. Net interest income was $54.9 million for the second quarter of 2004 compared with $56.1 million for the same period a year ago. The decline in net interest income is primarily due to lower interest income earned on investments.Investments declined from the second quarter of 2003 due to the sales of securities throughout 2003 to fund the prepayment of borrowings totaling $164 million. Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans were 2 basis points for the quarter ended June 30, 2004, down from 3 in the same period in 2003. Net charge-offs in the second quarter of 2004 totaled $631,000 compared with $391,000 in the first quarter of 2004 and $1.2 million for the second quarter of 2003.Nonperforming assets were flat from March 31, 2004 at $20.6 million and as a percentage of total loans decreased to 54 basis points compared to 55 basis points in the first quarter of 2004. The provision for loan losses was $1.1 million for the second quarter of 2004 compared to $2.1 million for the second quarter of 2003. The lower provision for the second quarter of 2004 was driven by the lower net charge-offs, and continued strong asset quality. As a percentage of total loans, the allowance for loan losses was 1.50%, down slightly from 1.52% at March 31, 2004.Noninterest income at June 30, 2004 declined $9.1 million from the same period a year ago. The primary driver was lower gains on sales of securities of $8.8 million. The securities gains generated in the second quarter of 2003 resulted from the rebalancing of the Company’s investment portfolio; these gains were largely offset by conversion charges related to the Company’s decision to change its data processing system. Increases from the same quarter in the prior year in investment management and trust, credit card income, and insurance commissions offset declines in mortgage banking and retail investment services. Noninterest expenses were $46.0 million for the second quarter of 2004, a decline of $8.3 million from the same period a year ago. Decreases were recorded in salaries, net occupancy, and conversion expense.Salaries declined $1.9 million, which was entirely due to lower levels of incentive accruals and sales-based commissions. Sales-based commissions were down as a result of lower volumes of mortgage loan sales and retail investments. The Company incurred conversion and restructuring charges of $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2004, down from $6.8 million in the same period of 2003. Personnel costs totaled $600,000, due primarily to stay bonuses and vacation payouts for employees who had previously been notified that they would not be retained after the IT conversion and the consolidation of Granite’s GSBI insurance into Chittenden Insurance Group. Other costs consisted of $335,000 related to printing and postage, outsourcing costs of $192,000, and approximately $132,000 of employees meals and travel costs. The return on average equity was 12.40% for the second quarter of 2004, compared with 11.97% for the first quarter of 2004 and 13.34% for the second quarter a year ago. The return on average assets for the quarter ended June 30, 2004 was 1.26%, an increase from the first quarter of 1.21% and flat with the second quarter of last year. The return on average tangible equity was 21.01% in the second quarter of 2004, compared to 20.38% in the prior quarter and 23.13% in the same quarter a year ago.Chittenden is a bank holding company headquartered in Burlington, Vermont.Through its subsidiary banks(1), the Company offers a broad range of financialproducts and services to customers throughout Northern New England andMassachusetts, including deposit accounts and services; commercial andconsumer loans; insurance; and investment and trust services to individuals,businesses, and the public sector. Chittenden Corporation’s news releases,including earnings announcements, are available on the Company’s website.This press release contains statements that may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Chittendenintends for these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harborprovisions for forward- looking statements contained in the Private SecuritiesLitigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this statement for purposes ofcomplying with these safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statementsare based on current plans and expectations, which are subject to a number ofrisk factors and uncertainties that could cause future results to differ fromhistorical performance or future expectations. For further information onthese risk factors and uncertainties, please see Chittenden’s filings with theSecurities and Exchange Commission, including Chittenden’s Annual Report onForm 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2003. Chittenden undertakes noobligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whetheras a result of new information, future events or other changes.Chittenden’s subsidiaries are Chittenden Bank, The Bank of WesternMassachusetts, Flagship Bank and Trust Company, Maine Bank & Trust Company,and Ocean National Bank. Chittenden Bank also operates under the name MortgageService Center, and it owns Chittenden Insurance Group, and ChittendenSecurities, Inc.last_img read more

HBO hosts special premiere of ‘How To Die In Oregon’ on April 13 in Williston

first_img# # # As Vermont debates over whether or not to become the next state to pass the Death with Dignity Bill giving terminally ill patients the choice on ending their own lives, HBO will give a sneak preview of the HBO Documentary Film ‘HOW TO DIE IN OREGON’ to an invitation-only audience. Winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Award, this film is an extraordinarily powerful, compassionate and intimate exploration of Oregon’s historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act. WHO:                     Filmmaker Peter Richardson will participate in a discussion with moderator Anne Galloway, editor of vtdigger.org. WHEN:                   Wednesday, April 13, 2011                              6:30 p.m. – Screening                              8:15 p.m. ‘ Discussion with Filmmaker Peter Richardson                             WHERE:                 Majestic 10                              190 Boxwood St.                              Williston, VT  05495                           DETAILS:               At the heart of HOW TO DIE IN OREGON are the patients themselves, their families and friends, as they grapple with the legal option they are allowed in Oregon. Among the film’s most affecting stories is that of Cody Curtis, a 54-year-old wife and mother who suffers heroically through a roller coaster of emotions and on-again, off-again symptoms stemming from cancer of the liver’symptoms as debilitating as they are humiliating. After initial surgery seems successful, the cancer returns, prompting Curtis to legally obtain the lethal barbiturates to hold ‘in reserve’ as a final option.                               HOW TO DIE IN OREGON does not shy away from the complexities of the aid-in-dying debate, interviewing doctors on both sides of the issue as well as activists, patients’ families and opinion-makers. Since Oregon became the first state in the nation to pass such a law in 1994, more than 500 Oregonians have taken advantage of it.                                  HOW TO DIE IN OREGON debuts on May 26 exclusively on HBO at 8 p.m. ET/PTlast_img read more

Champlain College advances in US News’ ‘Best Colleges’ ranking

first_imgChamplain College,Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, continues to climb in the college rankings, advancing to 13th place overall in the latest ranking in the 2012 “America’s Best Colleges,” released Tuesday by US News & World Report.Earlier this year, Champlain was included in The Princeton Review’s “376 Best Colleges 2012” edition and was named one of the Top 10 places to study game design by GamePro magazine.According to U.S. News “America’s Best Colleges,” Champlain ranks 13th in the listing of “Best Regional Colleges in the North” which includes all the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania. There are 371 colleges in four regional categories of institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and professional fields. Champlain was ranked 17th last year in the category. Two years ago, the annual survey named Champlain College one of the “Up and Coming Schools” in the Northeast.Champlain College President David F. Finney on the recent rankings said, “This recognition and the others are a reflection of everyone at Champlain College for their continued commitment to providing the most student-centric, professionally-focused, education in the country.”Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington. Champlain’s distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master’s degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. To learn more about Champlain College, visit www.champlain.edu(link is external).Champlain College tied with Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut was ranked number one in the North among schools that offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and in fields such as business and education. The 2012 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges book is available online and will be on newsstands September 20.The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges package represents the most comprehensive look at how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance (National Universities and Liberal Art Colleges). A complete summary of the methodology used to rank each school can be found online at www.usnews.com/colleges(link is external).The ranking system is controversial among many higher education institutions. However, the publication’s editors defend its annual lists as a useful tool for parents and students. According to the authors of the U.S. News “America’s Best Colleges,” the rankings are “an excellent starting point because they offer the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. You can compare different schools’ numbers at a glance, and looking at unfamiliar schools that are ranked near schools you know can be a good way to broaden your search. The report uses a range of statistics and criteria such as SAT scores, graduation rates and peer assessment to formulate the ranking. More details are available at www.usnews.com(link is external).Admission officers at Champlain College agree that the ranking is one way for students to learn about a school. “More importantly, we have found that prospective students are able to make the best decisions about their educational choices after visiting the campus, meeting other students, touring the facilities and using that knowledge to determine if a school is the right fit for their interests and career choices,” said Sarah Andriano, director of undergraduate admissions at Champlain College.Champlain College will hold the first of its Open Houses for high school seniors on Saturday, Sept. 17, with a full program of information for prospective students, campus tours and opportunities to meet with students and faculty. A second fall open house will be held Oct. 15. For more information, visit http://www.champlain.edu/Undergraduate-Studies/Admission/Visits-and-Even(link is external)…BURLINGTON, Vt. (Sept. 13, 2011) –last_img read more