Rioter planned attack with militia, wanted to trap lawmakers and ‘turn on gas’: Prosecutors

first_imgWin McNamee/Getty ImagesBy AARON KATERSKY, JULIA JACOBO and ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Federal authorities are continuing to charge rioters who took part in the siege on Capitol Hill.These are the most recent arrests:1st conspiracy charges filed against Virginia manThe Justice Department has filed its first conspiracy charges from the Capitol riot against a Virginia man who they allege was an apparent leader of a group of militia members who were part of the mob that stormed the building.Thomas Edward Caldwell is identified in an FBI affidavit as a member of the Oath Keepers. An agent alleges that he helped organize a group of eight to 10 of his fellow members to storm the Capitol with the intention of disrupting the counting of the Electoral College vote.The group can be seen in video walking uniformly through a crowd of rioters trying to gain entrance to the Capitol.Those members included co-conspirators Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl, who were charged for their role in the riots earlier this week. In social media posts, both Crowl and Watkins referred to Caldwell as “Commander,” according to the court documents.While inside the Capitol, Caldwell allegedly received Facebook messages telling him to “seal” in lawmakers in the tunnels under the Capitol and to “turn on gas.” Other messages appeared to be trying to give him updates on the locations of lawmakers, the affidavit states.Other texts reveal the extensive planning and even potential attacks that he and other members of the Oath Keepers were mounting leading up to the riots.On Jan. 1, Caldwell allegedly messaged an individual recommending a room at the Comfort Inn Ballston in Arlington, Virginia, saying, “This is a good location and would allow us to hunt at night if we wanted to.”After the riot, Caldwell allegedly posted a Facebook message stating, “Us storming the castle. Please share. Sharon was right with me! I am such an instigator!” the affidavit states. He later wrote, “We need to do this at the local level. Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”Rioter seen attacking police with a batA man who was captured on surveillance video attacking law enforcement with a bat at the entrance of the Capitol turned himself in to the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday.Emanuel Jackson is allegedly the rioter seen in photos the FBI released to the public, according to federal court documents.On the surveillance video, Jackson is allegedly seen making a fist and repeatedly striking a Capitol police officer while attempting to force himself into the building, his arrest affidavit states.Later, he is “clearly observed” with a metal baseball bat striking a group of both Capitol and D.C. police officers, according to the court document.It is unclear whether Jackson has retained an attorney.Houston police officerA longtime Houston Police officer who resigned after he participated in the riot has been federally changed.Tam Dinh Pham initially denied his involvement in the siege when he was interviewed at his home in Richmond on Jan. 12, according to court documents.After the interview, Pham agreed to hand over his cellphone, which investigators noticed had no photos from Jan. 6, the affidavit states. However, the “Deleted Items” folder contained photos and images of him inside the Capitol building.When agents advised Pham that it is illegal to lie to the FBI, he admitted that he was part of the crowd that stormed into the Capitol but denied taking part in any violence, according to the court documents.Woman in Louis Vuitton sweaterA woman has been charged for participating in the riot after at least six people identified her by the Louis Vuitton sweater she was wearing that day.In one video, Gina Bisignano allegedly was seen taking part in a skirmish with police trying to protect the Capitol building, according to an FBI affidavit.Bisignano was allegedly part of a crowd that crushed a screaming police officer while a rioter grabbed his gas mask. At one point, Bisignano allegedly told the officer, “You hurt my f—— leg,” the court documents state.In a separate video, Bisignano is allegedly seen feet away from police, telling them to stand down.“We the people are not going to take it any more,” she could be heard saying in another video, according to the affidavit. “You are not going to take away our votes. And our freedom, and I thank God for it. This is 1776, and we the people will never give up. We will never let our country go to the globalists.”After entering the Capitol, Bisignano was allegedly heard telling other rioters, “We need Americans. Come on guys. We needs patriots! You guys, it’s the way in. We need some people.”2 Texas rioters, including a former Marine, accused of violenceTwo Texas men have both been arrested over their roles in the violence at the Capitol, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.Ryan Nichols and Alex Harkrider were identified from photos they posted to their social media accounts, along with several threatening messages calling for a violent overthrow of the government, according to an arrest affidavit.In one video posted online, Nichols, a former Marine, can allegedly be seen yelling into a bullhorn in the direction of a large crowd, saying, “If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon!” the federal court document states.Nichols also allegedly said “This is the second revolution right here folks!” and “This is not a peaceful protest,” according to the affidavit.Both Nichols, 30, and Harkrider, 33, are seen in videos trying to force entry into the building, with Nichols allegedly spraying what appears to be a large canister of pepper spray in the direction of officers. Nichols was also allegedly in possession of a crowbar, the court document states.The FBI also noted several other social posts from Nichols, including one on Dec. 24 that showed a bullet and stated, “By Bullet or Ballot, Restoration of the Republic is Coming,” according to the affidavit. Another post on Dec. 28 stated, “Pence better do the right thing, or we’re going to MAKE you do the right thing.”Nichols was once featured on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” in 2018 after he drove 18 hours to rescue dogs before Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina.It is unclear whether Nichols and Harkrider have retained attorneys.Member of extremist group Three PercentersRobert Gieswein — part of the Oath-keepers, an extremist group related to The Three Percenters — was charged with assaulting a federal officer with bear spray and a baseball bat.According to court documents, Gieswein “encouraged other rioters as they broke a window of the Capitol building; entered … and then charged through the Capitol building.”An FBI affidavit confirmed that Gieswein runs a private paramilitary training group called the Woodland Wild Dogs and that he was identified from a patch for that group that was visible on a tactical vest he wore during the attack on Congress.The affidavit said Gieswein gave a media interview echoing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and that Congress needs “to get the corrupt politicians out of office. Pelosi, the Clintons … every single one of them, Biden, Kamala.”Retired NYFD firefighterFreeport, New York, resident Thomas Fee surrendered to the FBI Tuesday morning at the bureau’s resident agency on Long Island.Fee, a retired NYFD firefighter, allegedly sent a relative of his girlfriend a selfie of himself inside the Capitol, prosecutors said. He’s been charged by authorities.In the text message, Fee, 53, allegedly wrote that he was “at the tip of the spear,” a reference to the Capitol rotunda, according to the court documents.Fee drove to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, and a license plate reader in New York picked up the Chevy Tahoe he was driving upon his return on Jan. 7, the court documents state.At his court appearance Tuesday, a judge ordered Fee to avoid all political gatherings and to avoid the U.S. Capitol and all state capitols upon his release. He must also surrender his two guns — a pistol grip shotgun and an antique rifle.Federal prosecutors also recommended evaluation and treatment for substance abuse and mental health treatment.Fee posted his home as collateral for her $100,000 bond.It is unclear whether Fee has retained an attorney.Former FIT studentNicholas Moncada, a 20-year-old former student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, was taken into custody at his Staten Island home Monday. He allegedly livestreamed his “storming” of the Capitol on Jan. 6, prosecutors said.Moncada allegedly also posted a selfie of himself inside the Capitol, captioning it, “Outside Pelosi’s office.”He was recognized by fellow FIT students, who then alerted the FBI to his involvement, according to the court documents.During an appearance in a Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, Moncada was ordered to stay away from potentially antagonizing political events and speech after his release on $250,000 bond. His travel is also restricted to New York and Washington, D.C.“There’s obviously troubling conduct here,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler said, though he noted the government did not object to Moncada’s release on bond.The bond was signed by Moncada’s mother, grandmother and aunt.Moncada was an illustration major but had not been enrolled at the school since May 2020 and did not receive a degree, a spokesperson for FIT told ABC News.In a statement to ABC News Monday, Moncada’s attorney, Mario Gallucci, said he is not facing any violent charges.“Mr. Moncada was taken into custody this morning by the FBI and has been charged with various sections of the United States Code for trespassing inside a restricted building and trying to disrupt or impeded the conduct of Government business, as well as, trespassing on the floor of various Government rooms including the House of Congress, the lobby adjacent to the floor and the Rayburn Room of the House of Congress,” Galluci said. “I do not believe he is being charged with committing any acts of violence. Mr. Moncada denies any participation in the effort to overthrow the Government, and he looks forward to defending his good name.”Dozens of rioters who participated in the siege have already been taken into custody.Last week, the man seen wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller and several members of law enforcement were arrested in connection to the riot.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Lawyers view – Corporate Social Responsibility

first_img Comments are closed. Mark Mansell highlights the key issues of corporate social responsibility, itsimpact and describes how it is changing the face of UK businessCorporate social responsibility (CSR) has received a great deal of publicityrecently, with businesses signing up to its principles and an increasing numberproducing reports on their activities. An industry, complete with its ownbuzzwords, talking about triple bottom line reporting, sustainable developmentand a Quaker business tradition, seems to have sprung up around CSR. It is all about adopting a holistic approach to business. Rather than justconcentrating on shareholder value, it looks to address environmental andsocial concerns, hence the triple bottom line. Every business has itsstakeholders. These include business partners, customers, the communities inwhich the business operates and, importantly, employees. While CSR originated in the US, it is now part of the European Union’spolicy. Over the past three years, there have been a number of EU initiativessupporting CSR and seeking to find ways to promote its development. Within theEU, the UK is leading the way, with government and business bodies promotingCSR. It is a central tenet of CSR that it is voluntary. While the EU and the UKgovernment are anxious to promote good corporate citizenship, it is recognisedthat the way this is done will vary from business to business. Many CSR initiatives impact directly on employees. These include: – Open dialogue with the workforce – Workforce diversity – Training and career development – Incentivising employees – Work-life balance – Health and safety – Socially responsible restructuring From this list, it is clear that HR professionals have a central role toplay in implementing CSR. Yet, in practice, what can be done? Creating the vision As with any policy, winning over senior management is critical if CSR is tobe seen as a core value. Getting the commitment of the chairman or chiefexecutive is vital if the business is going to take these issues seriously. Once that commitment has been obtained, the next step will involve reviewingand revising workplace policies to ensure they are consistent with theobjectives at the heart of CSR. It is also important to involve employees indetermining and shaping what is being done. It is often surprising how unaware workers are of the benefits theiremployers provide over and above their basic terms and conditions. At the sametime, employees should be made aware of their own responsibility to others thatthey come in contact with. In any business, staff are the most important asset.If stakeholders outside the company are to be engaged, this has to be throughthe organisation’s employees. Involving trade unions or other staff representatives, is an important partof getting ownership and buy-in from the workforce. If an employeerepresentative body is not in place, setting up focus groups or using teambriefings can perform the same function. Involving workers in this way will help secure commitment throughout thebusiness. It also encourages them to feel they have a part to play ingenerating new ideas. As with any initiative, it is never enough just to introduce a policy.Regular checks should be made to make sure initiatives are successful andchanges should be made and policies adapted to suit changing circumstances. Embracing diversity The area of equal opportunities is increasingly regulated. As well as ourexisting laws, over the next three years we will see new legislation extendingprotection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation,religion and age. But, within business, the debate has moved on from equalityof opportunity to diversity. It is not just about ensuring someone is nottreated unfavourably. It is about recognising the benefits of a diverseworkforce and embracing diversity as a core value. Views on sex and race within the workforce have changed significantly sincelegislation was first introduced, and the same is happening with disability. Aswell as committing to policies that provide equality of opportunity, theintroduction of programmes, such as diversity training, will help to encourageemployees to understand and value those from backgrounds different to theirown. Changes being made to the UK’s anti-discrimination laws include givingemployers more scope to encourage under represented groups to apply for jobsand train them so that they are equipped for these positions. Any diversitystrategy and introductory training on cultural awareness should identify wherethe composition of the workforce does not reflect a business’ commitment todiversity. While it would still be illegal to discriminate at the point of selection,by using training, more targeted advertising and target setting, it is possibleto start addressing these issues. Perhaps the most effective way of ensuringthis becomes a priority is to include it within managers’ objectives and totake it into account at appraisal time and when awarding performance-relatedpay. Dealing with harassment When encouraging diversity, it is vital employers ensure staff are notbullied or harassed for any reason. As with discrimination, this is an areawhere changes are in the process of being introduced to the law, withharassment recognised as a specific form of discrimination separate from directdiscrimination. Actions that lead to a hostile work environment or violate an individual’sdignity, will be subject to greater legal penalties. Even if that were not thecase, to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, it is necessary to establishand operate a strong policy against harassment and bullying. In doing this, itis vital the policy applies to all. Often it will be senior managers and, in many cases, the most valuablepeople within an organisation, who are guilty of unacceptable behaviour. Theway in which an organisation deals with these individuals will set the tone forthe whole of the workforce. Tolerate behaviour and everybody will believe it isacceptable, whatever the company’s policy may say. On the other hand, if harassmentis dealt with quickly and effectively, whoever the individual is, the oppositemessage will be received. As part of the process, a timely, fair and confidential complaints procedureis needed. In certain cases, it may be appropriate to involve individuals witha greater degree of independence in handling claims either from within anorganisation or by introducing a completely independent third party. Inaddition, confidential counselling lines are increasingly a part of corporatelife. Training Lifetime training and knowledge development are an important aspect of CSR.The idea is that the employees will continue to learn and develop new skillsthroughout their career. With the need to acquire new skills and with theturnover of skills becoming ever more frequent, there is a clear correlationbetween an employee’s needs and the interests of the employer. There are a number of ways this can be achieved. Career guidance can beprovided through appraisal or other processes. Appraisals can be the first stepin promoting training, which gives an ideal opportunity for either the companyor an employee to identify training needs. It can also help the employer shapean employee’s expectations. Where there is a commitment to training, other forms of support areinevitably required. This will usually involve time off work and financialassistance. While it was fashionable to require training costs to be reimbursedwhere an employee left shortly after completing training, this is now lessoften the case. Employers need to balance the desire to avoid equipping staffto make them attractive to other prospective employers and putting people offparticipating in training. Training can also involve opening up opportunities within the community.Volunteering for pro bono activities can help people develop a wider range ofskills and contacts. Mentoring is valuable for an employee, whether they arebeing mentored or whether they are mentoring others. Relating pay to performance There are clearly good business reasons for linking pay to performance. Thisallows employees to share in business success and promotes a strong feeling ofpartnership. Probably the most widely used ways of doing this are option or sharepurchase plans. For the employers, the benefit of these plans is that theshares or options need to be held over a period of time for their potential tobe realised. The downside at the moment is that because of the depressedfinancial markets – incentives that did carry a large amount of value maycurrently be below the value at which they were granted. The important point in addressing performance related pay is to create areal sense of value. Where one particular mechanism, such as options, is notproviding the required incentivisation, others, such as long-term incentiveprogrammes, can still achieve the same effect. Whichever is used, it isimportant to reward genuine performance and retain valued employees within thebusiness. Work-life balance Work-life balance continues to be the Holy Grail. All employers stress itsimportance, yet within the UK, the long hours culture seems to be becoming evermore prevalent. There are a variety of ways in which this can be tackled. There are simplethings that can be done, such as avoiding late meetings or travelling at shortnotice, which can eat into personal time. With the Government’s recent legislation promoting flexible working, it willbe interesting to see whether employers more readily embrace the idea. Whilethere still seems to be a high level of resistance to atypical working, thecases that have come before employment tribunals relating to refusals ofrequests to work flexibly tend to show that, very often, such concerns areunfounded. Where there are doubts as to whether a particular request to work flexiblycan be accommodated, it is in an employer’s interest to use either a trialperiod, or make an alternative suggestion to meet an employee’s needs. Thisallows valuable skills to be retained and often helps motivate an employee.Educating managers is also key. Where someone has climbed the career ladder thehard way, there can be a tendency to think that everyone else should be able toreach the same level of achievement without offering steps that allow work andfamily responsibilities to be balanced. Health and safety checklist It is important that employers promote a healthy lifestyle for employees.This goes beyond obligations under the health and safety legislation. It is nowcommon to provide health screening or health club membership as part of abenefits package. Encouraging employees to take up these benefits and allowingthem the time to do so benefits staff and employer. Workplace stress is increasingly a problem and this can manifest itself inall kinds of situations. Establishing measures to promote work-life balance canalleviate stress. When this is coupled with other measures, such as propermonitoring and the use of helplines, these can be very effective ways ofreducing stress-related problems. Socially responsible restructuring In many ways, corporate social responsibility and redundancy seem strangebedfellows. However well run a business is, the need to make employeesredundant is almost certain to arise from time to time. When a business facesredundancies, it is important the they are made in such a way as to lessen theimpact for those who are made redundant; and, at the same time, preserve moraleamong those who have retained their jobs. There is already legislation that requires consultation where 20 or moreemployees are being made redundant. CSR suggests employers go beyond theirstatutory obligations and adopt social plans along the lines of those in use incontinental Europe. For many employers, this may be counter cultural. Even ifan employer does not want to go this far, involving staff in the redundancyprocess will ensure the consultation is genuine. Providing career counselling or outplacement for those who are maderedundant will also allow the redundancy exercise to be completed with theminimum of disruption and with employees retaining a sense of dignity. This hasmany benefits for employers, not least minimising the risk of tribunal claims. Reporting on CSR There is still little guidance on exactly how employers should report ontheir CSR initiatives. What is important is that statements have realcredibility, and objective standards should be set. Some form of auditing ishighly beneficial. Statements made by a third party with a degree ofindependence will always carry far more weight than what a company says aboutitself. But perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind in relation toreporting, is that where recommendations or promises are made, they areimplemented. Little can be more damaging to credibility than promising a lotand delivering little. Conclusion So, HR clearly has a significant part to play in implementing CSR and makingsure the behaviour that CSR policies encourage becomes a reality within abusiness. CSR is not just about providing employees with benefits. It alsomakes sound business sense, increasing and protecting shareholder value. Recentcompany failures demonstrate all too clearly how over-concentration onproducing financial results can lead to disaster. By concentrating on all ofthe stakeholders in the business, this is far less likely to happen. It alsohelps to enhance a company’s reputation, allowing it to attract and retain thebest employees and develop long-lasting customer relations. With CSR, it mayactually be possible to have your cake and eat it. Mark Mansell heads international law firm Allen & Overy’s EmploymentLaw Group Lawyers view – Corporate Social ResponsibilityOn 1 May 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Mitch Turner’s Master Class – Swiss Meringue Cake

first_imgMich Turner of the Little Venice Cake Co. demonstrated decorating a Swiss Meringue Ombre Cake at the recent Cake International Show at Birmingham NEC.The cake is made using Swiss meringue buttercream. This relies on heating together the sugar and egg whites to make a meringue into which butter is beaten to thicken and stabilise it. This buttercream has a silky, velvety light texture. It handles well for piping onto cupcakes and larger cakes and holds it shape well.Because the meringue is heat treated the buttercream is stable at room temperature.For the Swiss Meringue Ombre Cake you require 2 batches of the recipe below – one vanilla and one chocolate. These are then used the amounts to fill, cover and decorate two 6″ vanilla cakes.%%ImageNewsTicker_23914%%MethodStep 1: Preparing the buttercreamPlace the egg whites and the sugar in a large clean bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until the meringue is silky and not grainy when a little is rubbed between your finger and thumb – a temperature of 190F or 88C. This will take approximately 10 minutes.Remove the meringue from the heat but continue to whisk until the meringue cools to room temperature and has thickened.Add the butter in small batches and beat well between each addition Add the vanilla and whisk until well combined.TIP: Allow the meringue to cool to room temperature before adding the butter otherwise it could split. If this happens continue to whisk well and allow to cool. Because the meringue is cooked it is stable at room temperature.Chocolate Meringue ButtercreamAdd 190g melted, cooled dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids chocolate) to the Swiss meringue buttercream.Whisk in with an electric hand whisk until the buttercream is silky and smooth.Step 2: Decorating the cakeSplit 2 x 6 inch round cakes in half and sandwich with the buttercream.Cover the cake with the same chocolate buttercream. Half fill a large disposable piping bag with the buttercream fitted with a 2D nozzle. Massage the buttercream in the piping bag to ensure it flows well.Pipe a ring of rosettes around the base of the cake. Start in the middle of the rosette and work outwards.Repeat with a paler colour above and a paler row to arrive at the top.Finally, pipe the top of the cake with vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream rosettes.TIP: place the cake on a pretty cake stand before decorating so it does not need to be moved. Recipe for Buttercream5 egg whites at room temperature (medium eggs) 275g caster sugar1tsp vanilla bean paste450g unsalted butterThis recipe yields 1Kg You will also need two 6 inch vanilla cakesLittle Venice Cake Company was founded in 1999 by Mich Turner (MBE) and is renowned having created cakes for celebrities and royalty including Her Majesty The Queen, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Gordon Ramsay and David Beckham.>> Find out more about the Little Venice Cake Companylast_img read more

Allman Brothers’ Drummer Returns To The Road With Freight Train Band [Full Audio/Video]

first_imgLast night, Butch Trucks & The Freight Train kicked off their summer tour at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL. The band’s cast of characters includes bassist Berry Duane Oakley Jr., the son of original bassist Berry Oakley, Bruce Katz on keys, young guitarist and vocalist Heather Gillis, and Garrett Dawson on percussion.The night featured some very special guests, including Ben Sparaco, who impressed the room for most of the night (check out his debut EP here), as well as English blues guitarist and singer who makes his home in South Florida Matt Schofield, venue owner Albert Poliak on keys, and Butch’s daughter Melody Trucks Dugger on vocals. A family affair, to say the least, included plenty of Allman Brothers hits, like “Dreams,” “Jessica,” and “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” as well as The Band‘s “Ophelia” and Bob Dylan‘s “Highway 61 Revisited.”Thanks to CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, you can both watch and listen to the full set below:In Memory of Elizabeth Reed with Matt Schofield Catch Butch Trucks & The Freight Train Band on the road in a city near you!Butch Trucks & The Freight Train Band @ The Funky Biscuit 7/21/16:Setlist: Hot ‘Lanta > Trouble No More. Dreams. Only You Know%. Statesboro Blues$. Out From Center. Jessica%. Ophelia$. Highway 61*. Compared To What* > In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed*E: Whipping Post.Band: Butch Trucks (drums), Heather Gillis (guitar), Berry Duane Oakley Jr. (bass), Bruce Katz (keys), Garrett Dawson (percussion), Ben Sparaco (guitar), %w/ Albert Poliak (keys), $w/ Melody Trucks Dugger (vocals), *w/ Matt Schofield (guitar).Recorded by Adam @ CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS. Sound Engineer: Ray Rivard @ Audio Events. DreamsJessicaOut From Centerlast_img read more

Chris Robinson Brotherhood Recruits Jay Blakesberg To Direct New Video For “Chauffeur’s Daughter” [Watch]

first_imgChris Robinson Brotherhood is currently in the pre-release stages of their forthcoming studio album, Servants of the Sun, which is set to arrive this summer. On Wednesday, the rock band fronted by former Black Crowes co-founder Chris Robinson shared their new music video for a song titled “Chauffeur’s Daughter”, which will appear on Servants of the Sun when the album arrives on June 14th via Robinson’s Silver Arrow Records.Related: Chris Robinson Brotherhood Brings Their Winter Tour To Denver’s Ogden TheatreThe new video was directed by well-known rock photographer Jay Blakesberg, and takes viewers inside the Phil Lesh-owned Terrapin Crossroads venue and out to the wilderness of northern California. After starting out with the band performing the lively new rock track in front of fans at Terrapin Crossroads, Robinson is picked up by his real-life partner Camille Johnson, who stylishly chauffeurs him around town and beyond in a retro white limo. The two don’t waste much time before ditching the city in exchange for a lovely drive through the rural landscape of northern California Bay Area.Fans can watch the new music video for “Chauffeur’s Daughter” below.Chris Robinson Brotherhood – “Chauffeur’s Daughter”[Video: Chris Robinson Brotherhood]“‘Chauffeur’s Daughter’ is an effervescent little love song brought to life in the wilds of Marin country with my partner Camille,” Robinson said in a statement to go with the song’s premiere on Wednesday. “We cut in live footage of the band performing at Terrapin Crossroads. Our friend Jay Blakesberg directed and captured a perfect little day in our north Cali scene.”“[Chris’] manager sent me songs and lyrics and several of the ones they were thinking about for singles immediately jumped out at me,” Blakesburg also added about his latest project. “I have a friend who owns a 1990 Lincoln Stretch Limo, and if I could convince his girlfriend to drive it I figured it would be super cool.”Chris Robinson and his band will head out on their upcoming North American spring tour beginning on Saturday, May 4th, with a show in Hermosa Beach, CA. Fans can head to the band’s website for tickets and tour information for their upcoming performances.last_img read more

March Climate

first_imgMarch was drier and warmer than normal across Georgia, ushering in projections for a warmer and wetter than normal spring. Warm conditions statewide caused early blooming of many trees and flowers, leading to very high pollen counts, which were not helped by the lack of rain needed to wash away the pollen. Early blooming in the northeastern part of the state led the National Weather Service to start issuing frost warnings there earlier than usual because of farmers’ concerns about the fruit trees. In spite of the cold weather in late March, most fruit trees across Georgia were not affected by frost, and a good and flavorful peach crop is expected this year unless a very late frost occurs in April. The lack of rainfall caused abnormally dry conditions across the state. This allowed farmers to get into the fields to plant and apply chemical, but dry conditions caused some concerns for germinating crops. Wet conditions in the southwest corner of the state hampered farmers’ ability to work in the fields and led to the development of some fungal diseases by the end of the month. The outlook for April does show colder temperatures in the beginning of the month, but a return to warmer conditions later. Precipitation is expected to be above normal for the first half of the month, but drier conditions may return in the last two weeks. Warmer MarchGeorgia saw well above normal temperatures in March, ranging from 3 to 6 degrees above the 1981-2010 average. In Atlanta, Georgia, the monthly average temperature was 60.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 6.2 degrees above normal; the Athens, Georgia, average was 59.9 F, 5.6 degrees above normal; the Columbus, Georgia, average was 61.9 F, 4.1 degrees above normal; the Macon, Georgia average was 61.1 F, 4.3 degrees above normal; the Savannah, Georgia, average was 65.0 F, 5.8 degrees above normal; the Brunswick, Georgia, average was 64.9 F, 4.6 degrees above normal; the Alma, Georgia, average was 63.6 F, 3.4 degrees above normal; the Augusta, Georgia, average was 60.8 F, 4.9 degrees above normal; the Albany, Georgia, average was 63.7 F, 4.5 degrees above normal; the Rome, Georgia, average was 56.8 F, 4.7 degrees above above normal; and the Valdosta, Georgia, average was 64.7 F, 4.6 degrees above normal. Multiple records for daytime high temperatures were set on March 15 across the state. Atlanta reported 85 F; Athens, 86 F; Alma, 87 F; and Columbus, 87 F, breaking the old records of 82 F, 85 F, 86 F and 86 F, respectively, all set in 2012. Macon also tied its record of 87 F on the same day, and Augusta, Savannah and Brunswick tied records on or near that date. Brunswick also broke a record high on March 14, recording 84 F, which surpassed the old record of 83 F set in 1975. PrecipitationThe highest monthly total precipitation recorded by the National Weather Service was 6.17 inches in Valdosta, 1.30 inches above normal, and the lowest was recorded in Brunswick at 1.56 inches, 2.32 inches below normal. Atlanta received 2.21 inches, 2.60 below normal; Athens received 1.95 inches, 2.48 inches below normal; Columbus received 2.56 inches, 2.90 inches below normal; Macon received 2.64 inches, 1.91 inches below normal; Savannah received 5.01 inches, 1.28 inches above normal; Augusta received 3.18 inches, 1.00 inch below normal; Alma received 2.87 inches, 1.88 inches below normal; Albany received 4.77 inches, 0.28 inches below normal; and Rome received 4.86 inches, 0.09 inches below normal. Savannah set a daily precipitation record on March 27 when 3.98 inches fell at the airport, far surpassing the old record of 2.57 inches for that date set in 2005. The highest single-day rainfall recorded by Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) volunteers was 4.57 inches, measured one mile north of Pooler, Georgia, in Chatham County on March 28, followed by two other Pooler observers who measured 4.25 and 3.98 inches on the same date. The highest monthly rainfall recorded by CoCoRaHS volunteers was 7.89 inches, measured south of Donalsonville in Seminole County. This repot was followed by 7.25 inches in Thomasville in Thomas County and 7.09 inches measured in Bainbridge in Grady County. CoCoRaHS volunteers also recorded 2.0 inches of snow near Dillard in Rabun County and Nelson in Pickens County on March 4. This was the only day of the month with snow, so these are also the monthly totals. Severe weather was observed on five days in March. The most notable was a brief tornado touchdown eight miles west of Pelham in Grady County on March 31. The tornado caused some damage to trees and powerlines. For more information on Georgia weather conditions, see the “Climate and Agriculture” blog at or visit at Email weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share to [email protected]last_img read more

Oceans are changing color + Insect populations are plummeting

first_imgWorld insect populations plummeting at an alarming rate “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have a catastrophic consequence for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, co-author of the review, told The Guardian. Researchers fed satellite measurements of reflected light into a computer model and then correlated it to the number and type of ocean organisms. When they used the model to raise the global temperature by 3 degrees, they saw a very clear shift in ocean color with the blues getting bluer and the greens getting greener. A new study from researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found that more than half of the world’s oceans will change color by the year 2100, due to changes in the types and location of phytoplankton. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, reptiles or birds. According to the best data available, the total mass of insects is falling by 2.5 percent each year, suggesting they could vanish within a century. The analysis says that intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines, specifically the heavy use of pesticides. Oceans are changing color because of climate changecenter_img Phytoplankton are microscopic algae at the bottom of the ocean food web and are a key part of most ocean ecosystems. They also store excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce about half of the oxygen we breathe. Insects are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, but the first global review of insect populations published in the journal of Biological Conservation has found that more than 40 percent of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. Phytoplankton absorb and reflect various wavelengths of sunlight, which appear as different colors. Oceans with a lot of algae appear greenish, while areas with fewer phytoplankton appear a deeper blue. While those changes may seem inconsequential, researchers point out that it’s one more sign of how people are altering the earth in a major way.last_img read more

4 ways email will drive growth for your credit union – if you use the right tools

first_img Cut Loan Delinquency RatesNo one enjoys making collection calls, and one of Doxim’s client credit unions wanted to use emails to replace or minimize the need for performing this costly and unpleasant task. The email platform delivered delinquency notice messages to members’ inboxes five days after the due date (instead of the traditional 15 days). The result? Within one week after sending 673 emails, the credit union received 423 payments!   Generate Cross-Sell and Upsell OpportunitiesA robust email marketing platform can use the information a credit union already has to generate targeted, effective marketing messages. Analyzing product ownership can help identify members who might be interested in additional products. For instance, if a car loan is about to mature, it’s a good time to send a new offer – especially if current rates are better.Email messages can be changed to reflect a member’s circumstances. For example, if she has a HELOC, an offer customized to available credit could include appropriate improvement suggestions or vacation ideas. That way, members with a higher amount available receive suggestions for a down payment on a vacation home, while those with smaller amounts are told about home renovations or vacations.Here’s one final example of how a target email campaign can get quick results. A Doxim client wanted to increase adoption of its new credit card. After sending personalized email offers to a targeted group of members, the credit union received $283K in credit card balance transfer requests in just one month.Reap the RewardsEmail marketing is a low cost, highly effective way to boost sales and connect with your members. But the effectiveness of email marketing means today’s consumer receives dozens of offers every day. For yours to grab attention, the campaigns must be relevant to members’ felt needs.An advanced email marketing platform, designed specifically to meet the needs of financial institutions’ marketers, can simplify the process of  delivering automated multi-step, trigger-based campaigns that reach members in a way that will get their attention. Add the right tools and processes to your own CU marketing know-how, and you’ll have a winning combination to increase both revenue and member engagement. 58SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Olga Zakharenkava Olga Zakharenkava is the VP, Demand Marketing at Doxim, a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions for credit unions and wealth management firms. Find out more at Web: Details Mark Twain famously said reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. If email marketing were a person, it could say the same thing. Like fashionistas who change their minds about what is this year’s “new black,” marketing predictions about the health of email marketing fluctuate from “it’s almost dead” to “it’s still useful” to “it’s alive and well.” In truth, rather than disappearing, email marketing continues to be an invaluable tactic in your marketing toolkit – and its usage is growing. Consider this: The 2017 Inbox Report found that 89% of adults use email at least once a day. The Radicati Group reported in 2015 there were more than 4.35 billion email accounts, and projected an increase to 5.59 billion by 2019. And MarketingSherpa reports that 72% of consumers say email is their preferred communication channel with companies they do business with.Does your credit union realize the full benefit from email marketing? Numerous studies report its healthy ROI potential, including VentureBeat’s Insight study, which reported an ROI of $38 for every $1 email marketers spend. When SmartInsights asked companies to name the top 10 marketing tactics that achieved the highest return, email marketing topped the list at 67%, followed by online marketing at 38%. It makes sense; the cost of an email marketing campaign is relatively low, expenses don’t increase when adding recipients, and well-designed campaigns are highly effective. Now, it’s your turn to do email marketing right.Design Targeted, Personalized CampaignsMost credit unions use email for marketing, at least to some extent. However, if you’re just sending blasts touting the benefits of a particular offer, your efforts won’t be as effective as they might. An integrated approach that builds on previous behavior, responses to other campaigns, that is targeted to the member’s specific circumstances, or is triggered by a demonstrated interest, like a search for rates on car loans, will prove much more successful.At Doxim, our most successful clients have found targeted, personalized email marketing effective in many ways, including the 4 we will tell you more about right now.   Improving the Member ExperienceConnecting to members and strengthening relationships helps drive success. A study from CEB analysts found that highly satisfied customers buy twice as many products as those who have “average” relationships. Not only do satisfied members generate more revenue, but, as Bain & Company reports,  it costs seven times more to acquirea new client than it does to sell to an existing one. It pays to keep members happy and on the membership rolls. Enhance member experience by showing members your credit union is paying attention – to them and to their individual, unique needs.An email marketing platform can simplify sending newsletters with money-management tips, information about scams, or the benefits of new products and services. To build a truly authentic relationship with your members, use everything you know about them and craft personalized campaigns. Send trigger-based emails with birthday greetings or congratulations when a member pays off her car loan and may be ready to upgrade. Personalized messages, like this example from Keys Federal Credit Union, offer appeal on an emotional level.A BAI study (“Quest for Deposits: The Ninety-Day Window of Opportunity“) found that 75% of all cross-selling takes place in the first few months after the new customer acquisition. Consider the results of an email campaign used by InFirst FCU ($170 million in assets, Alexandria, VA.) for member onboarding. The credit union’s campaign included a series of seven emails to new members during their first 60 days with InFirst. The first email welcomed the member to the credit union and described services, locations, and rates. Follow-up emails outlined banking options, locations, ATM locator apps, types of loans available and other account information. The results are impressive:        18% of members added at least one new product or service        Deposit accounts grew by 24% and average balances increased by more than $400        The number of loan accounts grew by 190%.The emails were simple and to the point, but they were designed to build a progressively more engaging relationship with the members:center_img   Boost Sales and Streamline OperationsKeep your credit union on members’ minds by paying attention to their needs and interests. Emails triggered by transactions can help. If an auto loan is pre-approved, send an invitation to a car-buying seminar. If a member didn’t finish filling out a loan application, send an email reminder so he can click to go the place where he left off. Or, if he finished filling out the form but hasn’t provided all the necessary documents yet, send an email showing what’s still needed and include an easy link to upload missing information.last_img read more

Billy Joel Plays Nassau Coliseum Closer Tuesday

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Billy Joel is playing the last concert Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before it closes for $261 million in renovations—easily ranking as the most anticipated local performance of the year.Tickets for concert sold out in five minutes on May 1, making it one of the quickest-selling concerts ever at the 43-year-old Uniondale arena. Tickets for resale on Stub Hub are priced as high as $2,166.75. The concert will be his 32nd at the coliseum, where a banner bearing his name hangs from the rafters.“It was the first big arena I ever played, right after The Stranger came out in 1977,” The Piano Man recently told Entertainment Weekly. “Very, very exciting. Everyone I knew in the world was there. Ex-girlfriends, you know…”The concert is Joel’s most expensive of the year, reselling at an average price of $268 a ticket—16 percent more than his January performance in Madison Square Garden, where he plays monthly, averaging a resale ticket price of $226.Fans that waited to buy their tickets are not seeing the price drop they were hoping for, as the median listing price has gone from $350 to $469 in the past month, an increase of 34 percent. Even the cheapest ticket for sale has risen from $123 to $158 over the past month, a 22-percent increase.Those looking to get as close as possible to the “Captain Jack” singer will pay the price, as tickets in the floor sections are reselling for an average of $389 each. The 100-level is not much cheaper, with the average ticket reselling for $370 each. Fans looking for a bargain can sit up in the 300-level, where the average resale price is $175.Even though the six-time Grammy award winner frequently performs in New York, fans are especially excited to see the one that concludes the Nassau Coliseum’s legacy. Joel hasn’t played a solo show at the coliseum since 1998, where he set the arena’s record of nine sold-out shows in one year.The concert is specifically dedicated to Long Islanders who will be in a Long Island state of mind, as they bid farewell to the beloved building and the memories associated with it—at least until its scheduled reopening in December 2016. An estimate 68 percent of tickets for the concert were reportedly bought by LI residents.That’s because his local ties run deep. Joel, 66, grew up in Hicksville and now lives in Centre Island. Songs of his that reference LI include “It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me,” “The Ballad of Billy the Kid” and “The Downeaster Alexa.” His first solo album released in 1971 was titled Cold Spring Harbor.In paying tribute to the coliseum, Joel is expected to perform along with surprise A-list special guests, similar to his performance that closed down Shea Stadium.Among the plentiful memorabilia commemorating the historic concert are items for sale on roughly pricing at $40—including posters, t-shirts, pins, ticket stubs, mugs, hats and keychains. A very limited number of framed drumheads signed by Joel can be had for a $400 minimum donation to Long Island Cares Inc.The performance comes as the New York State Legislature considers a proposal to rename a stretch of Route 107 in his hometown as “Billy Joel Boulevard,” with lawmakers contending that the man who sold 150 million albums worldwide should have the recognition awarded to him. Opponents argued that bearing the name on a street is reserved as a “posthumous honor.” So much for “Only the good die young.”last_img read more

Photo contest focuses on conservation, appreciating the outdoors

first_imgBut these rules zooming in on a key focus of the contest: studying what’s around us. The contest had nine categories, more than $2,000 in prize money, and brought in photos from people in 12 states, and even from Israel. The Waterman Conservation executive director Chris Audette supported the program because of it’s unique way to look at ways to help the environment. APALACHIN (WBNG) — Photographers from around the country were honored on Saturday, as awards were handed out for the 2019 #NatureNow Photo Contest through the Waterman Conservation Education Center. The contest ran from August until November, encouraging participants to go outside and organically capture the images of nature. “My eyes have been really opened up by the interest in photography in this area,” said Teri Franzen, the contest administrator. “I am just so proud of all my students that entered. All the local photographers, and I’m just so proud this program has been so well-recognized and that we are continuing to expand our reach.” “We get people out in the field and we get them to go take their pictures and get them to come back and learn more about the subjects they’ve photographed,” Franzen said. “If you spend ten minutes in nature and just sit still, things come out of the woodwork. It’s just amazing what you see.” “We didn’t allow baiting, we wouldn’t allowed photos from zoos or game farms or any other controlled environment,” Franzen. “As a wildlife photographer, I’m really concerned about photography ethics, influencing your wild subject and not influencing your wild subject.”center_img “That gets them more attuned to nature and more interested in maybe maintaining those ecosystems and that’s kind of our bridge to conservation,” Franzen said. A total of 52 photographers submitted a combined total of 253 photos to the competition. “We’re getting to a point where we’re looking for creative ways to send the message that we have to conserve the environment and that there’s amazing things out there to be seen,” Audette said. The program, Natural History Through The Lens, is all about focusing on conversation efforts by getting people to appreciate the great outdoors. All participants were bound to strict guidelines to help keep the true meaning behind wild and free. Both Franzen and Audette told 12 News Waterman Conservation plans to hold another photo contest.last_img read more