Southern Vermont recovering from power outages

first_imgCentral Vermont Public Service said this afternoon that its crews, assisted by about 65 outside contract crews from across the northeast made steady progress today to restore power lost during Wednesday nights thunder storm. CVPS said that of this evening, the going is slow in restoring power to all customers, as each repair is only turning on a handful of customers at a time. As of 4:30 pm, about 240 CVPS customers in Rutland County and 640 customers in Windham County remain without power.Crews will continue to work through the night. While most will be back on by late tonight, there may be some stragglers, particularly in Windham County without power into tomorrow. Crews will continue to work as quickly as they safely can to get everyone back on, so everyone can enjoy as much of their holiday weekend as possible.For up-to-date outage numbers, visit out Web site at: http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/outages/default.aspx(link is external).Source: CVPS. 4.28.2010last_img read more

The Plight of Venezuelan Migrant Children in Colombia

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega July 10, 2019 In the median of a street in northern Bogotá, Colombia, 8-year-old Fiorella plays with a toy next to a tree, waiting for the day to pass. Her grandmother, Lisbeth, an elderly woman who approaches cars to beg, stands by the traffic lights on the corner. At another corner, Fiorella’s two uncles, mother, and stepfather explain with a sign that they are Venezuelan and unemployed. Three times a week, the family travels to Bogotá from a neighborhood on the outskirts of the Colombian capital to try to earn some spare change.Fiorella, who arrived in Colombia in late 2018, is one of the more than 327,000 Venezuelan children who live in Colombia and are in need of additional support for their health, education, protection, and well-being, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Venezuelan crisis caused an exodus of more than 3 million people, of which more than 1.2 million are in Colombia, according to a report from the Inter-agency Mixed Migration Flows Group (GIFMM, in Spanish), an agency of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.In Colombia, minors can receive medical care and go to school, regardless of their country of origin. The Colombian government said that about 130,000 Venezuelan children are enrolled in schools around the country. However, the large number of immigrants puts pressure on the public system, and slows down access. Fiorella should be in the fourth grade, but her family says they don’t know how to access those services.Humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and Colombian authorities have intensified their efforts to assist Venezuelan children in Colombia, and to educate families about their rights.“The access to basic services is the priority. The children who are crossing the Venezuelan border are suffering from serious malnutrition,” María Paula Martínez Villa, executive director of the NGO Save the Children Colombia, told Diálogo. “Plus, they are unprotected, because when they arrive with their families they have to sleep on the streets and are exposed to sexual violence, the possibility of being co-opted for child labor, and recruitment by armed groups found in some border areas.”A life disruptedFiorella lived in Maracay, Venezuela, with her mother, stepfather, and grandmother. Her time was spent between school and home. But in October 2018, her mother lost her job — the bag factory where she worked shut down.Lisbeth, who depends on her daughter economically, had to get up at 2 am to wait in line outside a supermarket that opened at 11. The first shoppers gained access to a scarce amount of food. Rice, pasta, and corn flour was all Lisbeth could afford.“Being there means being hungry,” Lisbeth told Diálogo. “Right now, a [monthly] salary can be about 40,000 sovereign [bolivars] [$6.81]; an egg carton costs 25,000 sovereign [$4.20].”With little money and food, the mother decided to go to Colombia. Soon after, the grandmother and grandchild began their journey to Bogotá.It took three days to travel from Maracay to Bogotá. The trip included footpaths and crossing the border by boat through the Saravena River. They entered Colombia via Arauca and then took the bus to Bogotá to reunite with the rest of their family.The six are among the more than 480,000 Venezuelans who, according to GIFMM, are in Colombia illegally. For these immigrants, GIFMM stresses three areas of intervention: direct emergency help, protection, and socioeconomic and cultural integration.In April, more than 243,000 adults and children received basic support for food, medical services (including mental health, prenatal services, and vaccines), and housing in 19 Colombian departments. In the same month, about 5,000 children were able to access a learning center, and about 3,000 benefited from renovated schools with access to drinking water.For its part, UNICEF’s 2019 goals are to help provide vaccines to more than 30,000 children, provide water and sanitation services in schools for 13,000 children, provide learning opportunities to 40,000 children, and assist 90,000 children and teenagers with measures to prevent violence, abuse, and exploitation.Support by NGOs and the Colombian government in light of the Venezuelan crisis is on a large scale; however, migrants continue to enter, as the situation in their country worsens. On April 14, Colombian President Iván Duque announced new measures to assist Venezuelan migrants in departments on the border with Venezuela: La Guajira, César, Norte de Santander, Arauca, Vichada, and Guainía. The plan has a budget of $228 million for health services and humanitarian assistance, water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as schools, among other services. It will have technical support from GIFMM, in coordination with local authorities.“In moments where anti-immigrant feelings are increasing worldwide, Colombia has generously kept its doors wide open to their neighbors in Venezuela,” said Paloma Escudero, head of UNICEF Communications. “As the number of families that make the painful decision to leave their homes in Venezuela grows daily, it’s time for the international community to increase its support and help satisfy their basic needs.”For her part, Fiorella misses her friends from school. “I like playing and learning. I’d like to play with play dough, with all my things, with everything I left behind.” She also says she wants to have friends, while she remembers that her best friend was her cousin and playmate, the very same playmate who cried a lot when she found out that Fiorella would not return to Maracay anytime soon.last_img read more

How to assure examiners your IRR is being managed effectively

first_imgPart 1Effective Interest Rate Risk management models should serve several purposes for credit unions: (1) they should be used by management and boards to assure changes in interest rates will not dramatically harm the credit union; (2) they should be integrated into the credit union’s short and long term planning; (3) they should help assure regulators that management is complying with all regulatory expectations in terms of risk management – particularly Interest Rate Risk (IRR).To assure examiners that a credit union is in compliance with IRR regulations, credit union managers need to be able show that their credit union:Is using an independently validated IRR measurement systemHas management and a board that is trained in how their IRR model works and is using it effectivelyConsistently applies the IRR model in on-going operations and planningMany credit union managers have difficulty understanding and explaining their respective IRR model. Interest Rate Risk concepts and models use stochastic methodology but managers should be able to answer examiners’ basic questions as to how their model works and why it complies with regulations. Sadly, examiners sometimes are attached to one particular IRR model and may have difficulty understanding IRR models that are different from what they have been indoctrinated in. So, let’s start with the basics: (1) IRR is the risk to earnings and capital arising from movement in interest rates; (2) IRR arises from the difference between the timing of rate changes and the timing of cash flows; (3) in credit unions, the primary issue driving IRR is their long-term loans or long term investments. Managers and examiners understand these basics of IRR. What drives much of the disagreement between managers and examiners is the proper IRR model that a credit union should use. NCUA regulations are clear – there is no one IRR model that should be used to meet regulatory IRR requirements. Friction between examiners and managers is exacerbated when managers cannot effectively explain how their IRR model works.Indeed, there is more than one IRR measurement model that a credit union can use. Unfortunately, many examiners are still steeped in the belief that proper IRR modeling should be based on Net Economic Valuation (NEV). Dr. Randy Thompson of TCT Risk Solutions LLC, many other financial institution experts, and this author have long held that NEV is an ineffective model for credit unions to use to manage Interest Rate Risk. A far better IRR model is based on Earnings at Risk (EAR).   NEV or Value at Risk calculates the “liquidation value” of the balance sheet to be applied in the event of the sale of an institution. EAR calculates the “on-going concern” value of the income statement. EAR is an operational measure and is far superior to NEV as it applies to credit unions (more on EAR in a later article).NEV has many weaknesses when used to measure IRR risk in credit union operations. NEV applies a present value calculation against future cash flows to: (1) discount the value of assets; (2) discount the value of liabilities; then (3) subtracts the value of liabilities from the value of assets to arrive at Net Economic Value (sometimes erroneously referred to as Net Equity Value).   Conceptually, this is the liquidation value of a financial institution. NEV is an effective concept when used in some financial applications, but it is a poor measure of a credit union’s IRR. NEV requires: (1) maturities of assets and liabilities; (2) market prices of assets and liabilities; and (3) applicable discount rates to use when valuing assets and liabilities. One should easily be able to see the shortcomings trying to apply NEV to a credit union: (1) there are no maturities in non-maturity deposits (so, many NEV models and regulators guess); (2) there is no market price for checking accounts or savings accounts (again, many NEV models and regulators guess); (3) there is no market where one can “purchase” a credit union’s core deposit accounts; so (4) there is no way to establish a discount rate where there is no market place. Since so much of NEV is based on estimations and guesses for establishing discount rates and market prices, NEV is a questionable model at best to use when it comes to determining a credit union’s IRR exposure.Showing examiners the weaknesses in NEV is the first step in explaining why a credit union has chosen to use EAR or some other method instead as its IRR model. In our next article, we will explain the concepts behind EAR, why it is superior as a measure of a credit union’s IRR, and how to effectively explain the EAR model to examiners. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Child Dennis Child is a 40 year veteran credit union CEO recently retired. He has been associated with TCT for 25 years. Today, Dennis enjoys providing solutions and training for credit … Web: tctconsult.com Detailslast_img read more

What does fintech innovation look like in credit union land?

first_img continue reading » Until 2014, Digital Federal Credit Union ($9.0B, Marlborough, MA) encouraged innovation to produce internal benefits. It solicited opinions from staff members about areas of improvement and partnered with local colleges to take the pulse of the youth. The strategy was educational but not so much actionable.Then, in 2014, the credit union opened the first iteration of what eventually became the FinTech Innovation Center. The idea behind the Digital Center for Excellence in Financial Services was simple: Create a physical space where startups could work and connect with business executives.“The startups would gain an institutional, marketplace perspective from the executives,” says Vasilios Roussos, managing director of the FinTech Innovation Center. “The executives would see emerging technologies and understand their need.”The Digital Center for Excellence benefited Digital FCU, but the credit union soon realized the center provide benefits beyond the cooperative’s walls. The space where forward-thinking companies could work and learn and introduce new products and services had communitywide benefits, too. So, the center evolved into the FinTech Innovation Center. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Governor Wolf Kicks Off 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Invites Pennsylvanians to Imagine the Opportunities

first_img Press Release Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today kicked off the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show, inviting the show’s thousands of competitive exhibitors and nearly half a million visitors to embrace the 2020 theme and Imagine the Opportunities. Throughout the eight-day event, Farm Show-goers will have a chance to explore the breadth of Pennsylvania agriculture, its heritage, and the innovation driving its future.“Food, fuel, and fiber. Billions in economic impact, hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Gov. Wolf. “It’s an industry fueled by innovators and full of opportunity, and it’s all on display and ready to explore at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.”“We’re challenging the industry to turn dreams to reality; to diversify and break into new markets; to walk a new path and exceed the demands; and to empower the next generation,” said Secretary Redding. “We’re challenging Pennsylvania’s consumers to take every opportunity to support the industry; to visit farm stands and farmers markets; to look for local names at grocers; to make memories on Pennsylvania farms; and to feed the imaginations of our youngest Pennsylvanians through hands-on agricultural experiences.”The ceremony began with a Pennsylvania State Police ceremonial color guard and the singing of the National Anthem by the Greater Harrisburg Chorus’ Sweet Adelines, winners of the 2020 PA Farm Show Oh Say, Can You Sing? contest. The event was emceed by Pennsylvania FFA President Timber Thebes of Perry County, and Pennsylvania 4-H Vice President of Operations Kelsey Bish of Clarion and Venango Counties.This year’s Pennsylvania Farm Show features a variety of new exhibits to feed imaginations including a waterfowl habitat with real ducks and ducklings, mounted archery, a quilt trail, cider sales and beer tasting, and low stimulation centers that offer a quiet, peaceful escape for those with sensory challenges. In addition to these new additions, fan favorites such as the PA Preferred® Culinary Connection stage, So You Wanna Be a Farmer exhibit, chick hatch, wine and cider tasting, Farmers Market, half-ton butter sculpture, and famous Farm Show food court will return.The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 4 – 11, 2020. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 83. January 04, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Governor Wolf Kicks Off 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Invites Pennsylvanians to Imagine the Opportunitieslast_img read more

Duntle back to winning ways

first_img The David Wachman-trained filly was having her first start since being demoted from first place in the Matron Stakes at this track in September, having been ruled to have interfered with Sir Henry Cecil’s Chachamaidee. Settled in third by Wayne Lordan as Sweet Lightning took the five runners along in single file, the 8-13 favourite quickened smartly a furlong and a half out to sweep to the front. She looked to idle from there and although the winning margin over Custom Cut was a narrow one, Wachman’s charge was always doing enough. Duntle holds an entry in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (formerly the Windsor Forest) at Royal Ascot, and looks set for a trip to the big meeting. Wachman said: “She wants fast ground and a fast pace. She will head to Ascot now and that was a satisfactory start for her.” Duntle made a perfectly satisfactory reappearance with victory in the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Gomis considering Swansea future

first_img “When Bony was here, it was expected that I would also play in a certain number of games, but that was not the case,” the France international told Canal Plus. “I want to play in a certain number of matches. Today I ask myself many questions. I need time to reflect because what was said was not respected. At my age, it is difficult to spend my time sitting on the bench.” Gomis – who has made 19 league appearances for Swansea, 13 of them as a substitute – said he and his representatives planned to hold talks with Swansea before making any decision but the 29-year-old may not easily be persuaded if he feels promises have already been broken. “I have been approached by clubs,” he added. “For the moment I am concentrating on Swansea. Me leaving? It is possible.” Bafetimbi Gomis has admitted he is considering his Swansea future, despite the departure of fellow striker Wilfried Bony. Gomis, who joined the club on a free transfer from Lyon last summer, grew frustrated over a lack of playing time during the first half of the season. Although Bony’s exit to Manchester City should open the door for him to become first choice, Gomis indicated he feels let down by the Swans and is considering his options. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Bug experts dismiss worry about US ‘murder hornets’ as hype

first_imgDon’t worry honey, the “murder hornets” are just hype!According to insect experts, people should “calm down” about the murder hornets unless you are a beekeeper or a honeybee.The Asian giant hornets were recently discovered in Washington and made headlines when they became nicknamed as “murder hornets.”Experts say the bugs can kill humans, but it only happens on rare occasion. Although, they can cause serious trouble since these giant hornets can kill off entire hives of honeybees.Washington Agriculture Department entomologist Chris Looney, who is working on the state’s search for these large hornets, says “They are not `murder hornets.’ They are just hornets,” and many other experts want to get rid of their nickname.Looney also said that “The number of people who are stung and have to seek medical attention is incredibly small.”Hornet, wasp and bee stings kill on average 62 people a year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.With that being said, experts want Americans to know that these hornets are not coming to take over and kill people.“This is 99% media hype and frankly I’m getting tired of it,” said University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy. “Murder hornet? Please.”For bees and the people who rely on them for a living this could be yet another massive problem, but it is not one yet.last_img

Guyana looking to rebound against Jamaica today

first_imgSTUNNED by a first-round defeat on Sunday when they were beaten by Trinidad and Tobago by 69 runs, the Guyana senior female cricket team will today go in search of a win against Jamaica when both teams meet in round two of the Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup, at the Everest Cricket Club ground.The visitors will clearly start as favourites, taking into consideration their first-round win over the Windward Islands.However, the Guyanese are eyeing improvement with high hopes of rebounding. Coach Bharat Mangru urged improvement, especially from his batters.“I was really disappointed about losing because we wanted to start out the tournament on a winning note, but unfortunately ,it wasn’t to happen. Our batting performance was really poor and it’s an area we need to improve on,” Mangru said.In their run chase on Sunday, Guyana lost five wickets for only 18 runs, to collapse from the comfort of 72 for one to 90 for six. They were eventually bowled out for 152.Meanwhile, other second-round games will see Barbados playing Windward Islands at Providence, while Leeward Islands clash with Trinidad and Tobago at Bourda.This year’s tournament, which will take the form of a double-format, featuring the Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup and the Women’s T20 Blaze, will be played simultaneously.The Guyana National Stadium, Providence, Georgetown Cricket Club, Everest Cricket Club and Enmore grounds will host the Super50 Cup with three matches, scheduled for each day for five rounds.Meanwhile, all five rounds of the T20 Blaze will be played at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.Guyana squad reads: Shemaine Campbelle (captain), Akaze Thompson (vice-captain), Tremayne Smartt, Erva Giddings, Sheneta Grimmond, Plaffiana Millington, Lashuna Toussaint, Shebika Gajnabi, Cherry Ann Frazer, Mandy Mangru, Kaysia Schultz, Melanie Henry, Lafona Gilgeous, and Afruica Gentle.last_img read more

Egbe Tips Eagles for CHAN 2018 Glory on Sunday Â

first_imgChief Executive Officer (CEO) of Monimichelle, a stadium construction outfit, Ebi Egbe, has tipped the Home-based Eagles to lift the CHAN 2018 trophy on Sunday.Ragles will on Sunday do battle with host Morocco in what promises to be a thrilling final.Egbe while hailing the Eagles for reaching their first ever final in the tournament, said the Salisu Yusuf tutored side has what it takes to break the heart of Moroccans inside the massive Casablanca’s Stade Mohamed V.“Eagles are definitely in for a tough battle on Sunday, but I strongly believe it is a battle Nigeria is going to win. We have a bunch of players that are determined on doing the country proud and given the level of support they are getting from the soccer federation and government, I see them going all the way and lifting the trophy. “What Nigerians should do is rally round the team with their prayers. It would be wonderful starting 2018 with a trophy. The present NFF board has done well and I pray God crowns their efforts with a title ahead of the big one later in the year in Russia,” Egbe said.Egbe while commending Morocco for the excellent facilities it is using to host CHAN, urged Nigerian authorities to do the same in the country insisting that Nigeria deserves to have world class arenas. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more