Brazil’s Oi bullish on mobile acquisitions, despite high debt

first_img Previous ArticleVodafone head open to sale talks – reportsNext ArticleApperian touts IBM Worklight integration Related Author AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 21 NOV 2013 Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more Ken Wieland Home Brazil’s Oi bullish on mobile acquisitions, despite high debt Luz verde a la fusión entre Telefónica y Liberty Global en el Reino Unidocenter_img Telefónica refuerza la seguridad de las cadenas de bloques Zeinal Bava, chief executive of Oi-Portugal Telecom, reckons the enlarged group – once the merger of the two companies is complete – would have little difficulty in raising money for acquisitions should it want to bolster Oi’s mobile position.Speaking at a conference, reported by Reuters, Bava did not rule out a share sale – either to fund deals or to reduce the new company’s debt.Bava admitted he did not feel comfortable with the group’s debt level after the deal, which, Reuters estimates, will be roughly 3.2 times core annual profit. Oi’s boss added that the market would probably prefer debt levels closer to 2 times core profit.Although Oi is Brazil’s largest fixed-line operator, it ranks fourth in mobile. There is some analyst speculation that Oi might buy part of Telecom Italia’s TIM Brasil.Market leader Telefonica, now the largest stakeholder in Telecom Italia, has, according to some reports, been in favour of selling the Brazilian unit to raise cash. (Sources earlier told Reuters that Telefonica aims to sell Tim Brasil in the second half of 2014.)None of the main players in Brazil could buy all of Tim Brasil, points out Reuters, because of antitrust concerns.“We will continue to monitor what happens in Brazil,” Bava said. “We have the ability to look at acquisitions if we want to, but right now our focus is to simplify our corporate structure by finalising the merger. Once we do that we can look at other things.”The Oi-Portugal Telecom merger is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. Telefonica bolsters blockchain security BrazilFinancialOiPortugal TelecomTelecom ItaliaTelefonicaTIM Tags Español last_img read more

Read More »

McClaughry: The push for national single payer healthcare

first_imgby John McClaughry As the Republican Congress struggles to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, the political landscape is steadily shifting. Since the Democratic Congress enacted Obamacare in 2010 (without a single Republican vote), Democrats have increasingly been on the defensive about their creation.  The individual mandate that Obamacare relied upon to corral healthy young people into insurance pools has failed to do the job – partly because the tax penalty was not severe enough, and partly because the Obama administration felt compelled to create 14 different types of “hardship exemptions” that exempted millions of young people from the penalty.Furthermore, Congress refused to fund the “cost sharing reduction” feature that paid insurance companies to give discounts to lower income purchasers. Obama’s desperate efforts to keep this revenue source flowing to the insurance companies ran afoul of the law, and is currently enjoined by a Federal court (on appeal).The result has been soaring premiums to cover the expenses of older and sicker pools, and the exit of insurers from Obamacare exchanges where they can’t find a way to recoup their losses.Until recently, the Left, determined to protect Obama’s handiwork , has urged only expanded appropriations for cost sharing reduction, which the Republicans – who sued Obama for spending unappropriated money for this purpose – are not likely to agree to. So the Left is now proactively moving away from the unlikely prospect of salvaging Obamacare, toward  creating a groundswell for replacing it with their true “solution” – a universal single payer plan.When Obamacare was debated in 2010, Obama bought the support of the big health insurance companies by ruling out the inclusion of a “public option” – a government insurance company that would compete with (and undercut) the private carriers. The Left regarded this as a sellout, but had little choice but to back Obama’s plan. The 2016 Democratic platform turned down the Left’s urgings for universal single payer, but did include advocacy of the public option as a concession to the Sanders forces.Meanwhile Sanders has continued his lifelong campaign for “Medicare for All”, without noting that at the present rate of spending, Medicare will be unable to make currently promised benefit payments by 2028. One hundred and twelve of the 193 House Democrats have cosponsored a bill to create a national single payer system.Last week the Wall Street Journal quoted Senate Leader Mitch McConnell as warning Republican Senators that if they failed to pass legislation unwinding the Affordable Care Act, Democrats could regain power and establish a single-payer healthcare system.Republican strategist Ed Rogers, writing in the Washington Post, says “it looks as though there will probably be a consensus position among Democrats running [for President] in 2020 in support of a single payer system.”Apparently those Democrats haven’t taken a close look at Vermont’s pioneering experience with single payer, which ended with Governor Shumlin’s embarrassing abandonment of the idea in late 2014.But as Rogers put it, “On the surface, single payer universal health care will be hard to beat in the face of rising premiums and onerous deductibles [produced by Obamacare] that Republicans can’t seem to do anything about. A lot of voters will think that Democrats are trying to give them free health care and the Republicans are against it.”It’s not that Republicans don’t have some very sound ideas about replacing Obamacare. They include income-tested support for catastrophic insurance that reduces the role of third party payments, tax equity for individual premium payers, expanded Health Savings Accounts to pay for ordinary medical expenses, preventive care and wellness programs, state-level innovation for Medicaid acute-care coverage, high risk pools to cover uninsurables, and improved price and outcome transparency to facilitate increased provider competition.The Republicans’ problem is three fold. Their majorities in both houses can alter tax and spending laws, but they can’t enact a coherent reform package in the face of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Most Republicans ran vowing to repeal all of the Obamacare taxes, leaving no revenues to underwrite a reform program. And, distressingly, they have no slogan to compete with “[Free] Medicare for All.”And there’s yet another wild card. In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Donald J Trump, who appears to have few if any identifiable political principles, waxed enthusiastic about the Canadian single-payer system.It’s easy to imagine that Trump, faced a year from now with a Republican Congress’s failure to pass a genuine reform program,  polls showing growing support for the Sanders single payer solution, and polls showing his fortunes sinking to unelectable levels, will suddenly decide that Canadian single payer will make America great again.John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute (www.ethanallen.org(link is external)).last_img read more

Read More »

The Face(s) of the GOP. Who Do You See?

first_imgThe Huffington Post: I’ve worked in Washington, D.C. for decades, so I have witnessed a fair number of political logjams, even a few government shutdowns. So I’m not quick to panic when the two parties’ leaders stubbornly stake out what are seemingly irreconcilable positions. But I confess that listening to House Republicans this time around — especially but not only the Tea Party zealots — is making me nervous. This is not just the usual posturing and brinkmanship. I really think they perceive a different reality than the rest of us. Is that possible? Can people be so biased by their political attitudes that they look out and see a different world, a world where up is down and black is white? I look at Tea Party Republicans and I see incompetence and selfishness and cruelty. Is it possible that others look at the same faces and see trustworthiness and benevolence?Coincidentally, I came across a new study this week that argues just that. Ohio State University psychological scientists Russell Fazio, Alison Young and Kyle Ratner used techniques from psychophysics to test the idea that our political attitudes can shape our most basic perceptions of human faces — including our perceptions of trustworthiness.Read the whole story: The Huffington PostWray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology. Follow Wray on Twitter @wrayherbert. More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Read More »

Los Alamos National Laboratory: Battling COVID-19 With Expertise, Technology And Materials

first_imgNational Security Sciences Building at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANLLANL News: A multidisciplinary effortLos Alamos National Laboratory, like many of the Department of Energy national laboratories, is drawing on its rich history in the biological sciences to actively engage in the national effort to study, understand, and answer important questions about the COVID-19 outbreak. Areas covered include disease detection and diagnostics, epidemic modeling, disease prediction and forecasting, decision support, data collection and integration, and medical measures.“Over the last several weeks, the Laboratory has taken extraordinary steps to preserve the ability to execute our mission while assisting our surrounding communities, the state, and our nation during this demanding national emergency,” Los Alamos Director Thom Mason said. “Many are looking to the Laboratory for resources including our expertise, technology, and materials to help combat the COVID-19 virus.”Los Alamos is providing decision-support for business and government, Director Mason said.“We are also collaborating with other national laboratories in the Department of Energy complex to develop an alternative COVID-19 testing method and are evaluating the potential of advanced manufacturing, specifically 3-D printing, to produce scarce medical equipment,” Mason said.Los Alamos’ work in detection and diagnostics is being leveraged to optimize assays for detecting COVID-19 and bioinformaticians are looking at its close genetic relatives to analyze the virus’ evolutionary relationships to other viruses that have been studied. Epidemiological modeling centers are focusing on predicting disease spread to support decision making by government and health agencies. The modeling efforts relies on data collection, data integration, and experienced researchers who can answer questions for decision makers. Medical therapeutics efforts are focusing on ways to leverage our expertise in vaccine optimization, small-molecule discovery, and toxicity testing.A rich history in biological sciencesLos Alamos has decades of experience integrating expertise across biology, chemistry, theory, and engineering. This multi-directorate focus of the Laboratory started in 1945 with studies of radiation health effects, expanded to the impact of radiation on DNA, and went on to include the Human Genome Project in Los Alamos. The Laboratory started GenBank, which is now the repository of DNA used in COVID-19 research.Over the years, Los Alamos has also developed deep expertise in bioinformatics—the information science side of biology.DetectionDetection and modeling begin with understanding historical outbreaks. A Los Alamos database catalogues historic information for key outbreaks of nearly 40 different diseases. That information helps responders select the historic similarities to each new situation, even as an outbreak evolves over the first hours and days. “When an outbreak occurs, we can look at these tools and see if it’s matching what we’ve seen historically,” said Kirsten Taylor-McCabe, a biochemist and national security and defense program manager at Los Alamos. “If it’s not matching, it alerts us that something might be different. It also shows us what happened in the past that people used for mitigative actions, such as contact tracing, vaccination and therapeutic campaigns, and social distancing. Did they work well? What lessons learned can we take away from actions taken in past outbreaks?”Los Alamos has a long history in computational design assays, which assess or measure the presence of pathogens. Bacteria and viruses evolve over time and researchers learn more about their genomes on a daily basis. This information is utilized to optimize assays.“They erode over time,” Taylor-McCabe said. “We need to keep pace with that and deliver assays that will be functional for COVID-19 or for future outbreaks. For diagnostics, we’re trying to leverage ways that we understand the host’s innate immune system. How can we triage what’s going on in the field? How can we understand if you have a bacterial or a viral infection? At Los Alamos, these are the techniques we are trying to leverage for this COVID-19 outbreak.”TestingLos Alamos is leading a Department of Energy–wide laboratory working group on COVID-19 testing and participating in assessments of lab capabilities for near- and long-term testing requirements, both for public health and for the Los Alamos enterprise.COVID-19 modeling“Modeling the epidemic sheds light on its growth rate, time of origin, future case counts, and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies,” said Nick Hengartner, leader of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group at Los Alamos. “Realistic epidemic models enable decision makers to validate data quality and play what-if scenarios.”Virus spread“For modeling, we’re looking at the spread of disease. We’re looking at it globally, all the way down to the county level,” Kirsten Taylor-McCabe said. “So in New Mexico we’re looking at the county level, we’re looking at how the disease is spreading, what the forecasts are for when we will see a peak in cases, how many people might be hospitalized, how many people may be in the ICU, how many might need ventilators, both from no intervention scenarios all the way through to high intervention scenarios.”“Because we have those physical models that are reasonably realistic and we can model them at low levels of geographic aggregation, it allows us to actually validate the data,” said Nick Hengartner. “One of the things that comes out is that we believe that we don’t see everyone who is sick at this time. That is something that our model is able to tell us. It’s also able to tell us if the mitigation strategies that we are implementing are working because we can compare what the models predict with the actual data that we are collecting.”Genetic research“Part of the modeling also uses the basic law of biology—evolution,” Hengartner said. “Things evolve, and by looking at how viruses evolve and putting them in context of related organisms, which is what a phylogenetic tree shows, we can make several conclusions. For example, we know now that COVID-19 is related to but not the same as the SARS virus. We can also see that COVID-19 evolves relatively slowly, which is good news.”The phylogenetic tree also shows close genetic neighbors or related viruses that have been found in bats and pangolins.“When we look at genetic-sequence similarity and we compare it to others, we see that this particular virus not only made use of point mutation, or very small genetic mutations, but it also rearranges its genome a little bit,” Hengartner said. “And looking at the patterns and how it has been rearranged and point mutations, we are very confident to say that this follows what we would expect from a naturally emerging and evolving organism.”Medical measures“One of the interesting proteins of the coronavirus is the crown—it’s those spikes,” Hengartner said, referring to the spiky protuberances that can be seen in microscopic images of the virus. “Those spikes matter because they attach themselves to the surface of a cell and then somehow inject the virus’s RNA into the cell and that’s how the infection happens. For that to happen, this attaching to the cell membrane, there are two receptors. It turns out that having two ways for the virus attach to itself to the membrane is actually not common, and one of these receptors is in the upper lung and the other one is in the lower lung,” Hengartner said.This may give a hint about how COVID-19 progresses as a respiratory disease.“Now that we know that it binds with those receptors, this provides us with an opportunity to say ‘well, are there any therapeutics that could mitigate or disrupt this kind of behavior?’” Hengartner said. “Just looking at the structure of the molecule gives us an idea about what kind of molecules or drugs we should be looking for.”Developing artificial human organs for drug testing“When we have these drug candidates, it would be fantastic to be able to test them rapidly in a human-based system, something that’s clinically relevant to the human,” Taylor-McCabe said. “Right now, drugs go through animal testing. At Los Alamos, we’re trying to bridge that gap with a human organoid platform that would better mimic what would happen within the human host. Our project includes an artificial human heart, lung, and liver. These are systems that would be able to screen some of the drug candidates that are out there.”Supporting vaccine development“People are feverishly trying to develop a vaccine and have already designed vaccines that are in testing phase, but at Los Alamos, we also want to look into the future,” Hengartner said. “One of the risks that we’ve recognized with this coronavirus is that there is an immense pool of other coronaviruses hiding in bats and pangolins and snakes and what not. We would like to come up with a strategy to protect us, not just against this particular strain, but maybe next year’s jump, too.”Los Alamos’ research in this area draws on its experience designing an HIV vaccine, which recently underwent human trials. HIV mutates extremely quickly, giving it a broad diversity that is difficult to address with a single vaccine. Los Alamos addressed that problem by creating a “mosaic” vaccine that is a patchwork of HIV genomes.With COVID-19, Hengartner said, “it doesn’t mutate that fast but we have a broad diversity, so if we can use similar mosaic strategies, we can start thinking about designing a vaccine that will protect us from future infections and outbreaks—and nip this one in the bud at the get-go.”Manufacturing“On the manufacturing side of the house, Los Alamos has been working in a DOE-wide working group, participating in assessments of how the labs can support the need for ventilators, masks, face-shields, and consumable parts for lab testing,” Kirsten Taylor-McCabe said. “We’re in the deep dive phase, trying to figure out how we can help and what is the best way that we can work with the commercial sector.”Research Collaborations with Los AlamosThe Biosurveillance Gateway is a Los Alamos website housing data about the pandemic and giving outside researchers an entry point for accessing Laboratory expertise in COVID-19 modeling, diagnosis, and decision support.“You can also look at who to contact for some of these efforts and submit questions, which we will triage and try to link you up to the scientists that are working in this area,” Taylor-McCabe said.Kirsten Taylor-McCabe is a biochemist and national security and defense program manager, and Nicolas Hengartner is leader of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.last_img read more

Read More »

Boy Tennis roundup: Fruitport and Western Michigan Christian cruise to victories

first_img Displayed poorly (8133) ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. × (5153) Other FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. × Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… Shares Displayed poorly Share Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) ENDS IN Inappropriate / Offensive Share Not relevant Other ENDS IN Ads by Amazon Report a problem This item is… DEAL OF THE DAY Twelve Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Bestseller Displayed poorly Sports Illustrated (832) Not relevant Report a problem This item is… (1445) DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN 0 Inappropriate / Offensive $19.29 Bestseller Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY NBC Sports × Bestseller Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Inappropriate / Offensive Bestseller Report a problem This item is… Ads by Amazon Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY Report a problem This item is… Other Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant Displayed poorly $0.00center_img Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN × (35309) Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Mail DEAL OF THE DAY × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… $14.99 Other $0.00 LocalSportsJournal.comThe Fruitport boys tennis team cruised to a 6-1 victory over Sparta on Tuesday in a non-conference match.Jordan Hennings (6-1, 7-6), Alexander Leonard (6-7, 7-6, 10-8) and Hayden Winskas (forfeit) each won their singles match for the Trojans.Fruitport won all three of its doubles matches as Brady Weck and Zander Beatty (6-2, 6-4), Davis Gilbert and Caleb Foy (6-2, 7-6) and the team of Dakota Adkins and Cole Foy (6-3, 6-3) were victorious. ENDS IN × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Lemedy Women Padded Sports Bra Fitness Wo… Not relevant $22.99 Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets, Citru… Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Other MUSKEGON WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN 5, KELLOGGSVILLE 1- The Warriors won all of their single matches as Tyler Newhouse (6-0, 6-1), Christopher Newhouse (6-1, 7-6), Michael Kamps (6-1, 6-1) and Hugo Campillo (6-1, 6-0) each won their match.WMC’s Austin Meiste and Nate Vanderweide (6-1, 6-2) won the lone doubles match. × (975) Other Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Not relevant Fox Sports Go Other Report a problem This item is… Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Other ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $9.99 × $0.00 DEAL OF THE DAY Shop Now Not relevant Add Comments (Max 320 characters) $20.00$233.61 ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Displayed poorly (3879) (32825) Displayed poorly Not relevant Report a problem This item is… Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller Report a problem This item is…last_img read more

Read More »

Colts fall to Patriots, 43-22 at Gillette Stadium

first_imgMOST CAREER PATs IN NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY                 Player                 Years            PATs                 Adam Vinatieri    1996-2013      60                 David Akers         1998-2013      58                 Gary Anderson     1982-2004      57 ·         Wide receiver LaVon Brazill finished with two receptions for 73 yards and two touchdowns.o    He scored his first touchdown on a 38-yard reception in the first quarter and followed with his second score on a 35-yard grab in the third quarter. It marked Brazill’s first career multiple-touchdown game in the postseason and the fifth multiple-touchdown game by a receiver in franchise postseason annals. o    Vinatieri ranks first in franchise history in postseason scoring (96), field goals (25), field goals in a game (five), field goal attempts (27) and field goal long (52).o    He played in his 27th career postseason game, which ranks tied for the second-most in NFL history. ·         Brazill added the team’s second touchdown of the game after hauling in a 35-yard strike from Luck in the third quarter. The touchdown cut New England’s lead to one possession. The score also marked the second consecutive postseason game a Colts receiver tallied multiple touchdowns (T.Y. Hilton, two touchdowns vs. Kansas City on Jan. 4, 2013). ·         Outside linebacker Robert Mathis finished with three tackles, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble.o    The sack was the second of the postseason for Mathis as he now sits 2.5 sacks shy of Dwight Freeney’s postseason franchise record. ·         Tight end Coby Fleener led the team with six receptions while adding 74 receiving yards. Wide receiver Griff Whalen established postseason highs with five catches for 67 yards. ·         Running back Donald Brown led the team in rushing with 17 carries for 63 yards.o    With 17 rushes, Brown passed Don Nottingham (34) for the ninth-most carries in team postseason history.o    With 63 yards, Brown passed Zack Crockett (161) for the eighth-most yards in team postseason history. ·         Punter Pat McAfee totaled five punts for a 51.8 average with a long kick of 58 yards.o    With five punts, McAfee passed Chris Gardocki (23) for the third-most punts in Colts postseason history.o    With five kickoffs, McAfee passed Adam Vinatieri (36) for the most kickoffs in Colts postseason history. ·         Safety Antoine Bethea finished with seven tackles and one pass defensed.o    He competed in his 13th career postseason game, which ties him with Tarik Glenn for the 12th-most in franchise history. ·         Adam Vinatieri converted 2-of-2 field goals and two PATs for eight points against New England.o    Vinatieri split the uprights on an extra point following the team’s first touchdown of the game and took sole possession of first place on the NFL’s all-time postseason extra point list, topping David Akers’ old record of 58.o    His 36-yard field goal in the second quarter cut New England’s lead to 21-10. Vinatieri added his second field goal of the game (21 yards) on the team’s first offensive drive in the third quarter to trim New England’s lead to 21-15.o    Vinatieri currently leads the NFL in postseason records for points scored (213), field goals made (51), consecutive games scoring in the postseason (27) and extra points made (60). ·         Outside linebacker Erik Walden posted a five-yard sack of Tom Brady on a third down in the first quarter, which forced a New England punt. It was the third postseason sack of his career.center_img MOST CAREER SACKS IN COLTS POSTSEASON HISTORY                 Player                 Years            Sacks                                               Dwight Freeney    2002-2012      9.0                                               Robert Mathis      2003-2013      6.5 MOST CAREER FIELD GOALS MADE IN NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY                 Player                 Years            FGs Made                                               Adam Vinatieri    1996-2013      51                 David Akers         1998-2013      39                 Gary Anderson     1982-2004      32 MOST CAREER POINTS SCORED IN NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY                 Player                 Years            Points                                               Adam Vinatieri    1996-2013      213                 David Akers         1998-2013      175                 Gary Anderson     1982-2004      153 ·         Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 20-of-41 passes for 331 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions for a 53.0 passer rating.o    With 41 passing attempts, Luck passed Jim Harbaugh (119) for the third-most attempts in Colts postseason history.o    With 20 completions, Luck passed Jim Harbaugh (61) for the third-most completions in franchise postseason history.o    With two touchdowns, Luck passed Jim Harbaugh (five) for the third-most touchdowns in team postseason history. MOST CAREER POSTSEASON GAMES PLAYED IN NFL HISTORY                 Player                 Years            Games                 Jerry Rice            1985-2006      29                 D.D. Lewis           1968-1981      27                                               Adam Vinatieri    1996-2013      27 The Indianapolis Colts ended their playoff bid to the championships and a return to the Super Bowl in a loss to the New England Patriots, 43-22, at Gillette Stadium.·         The Colts found the end zone at the 4:35 mark in the first quarter when quarterback Andrew Luck found wide receiver LaVon Brazill for a 38-yard touchdown. The touchdown was the first of Brazill’s postseason career. On the possession, Indianapolis drove 80 yards on seven plays and totaled three first downs. Luck also hit wide receiver Griff Whalen for a 22-yard pass.o    Following the score, the Colts had tallied six touchdowns on their last 10 offensive possessions dating back to a Wild Card Playoff meeting against Kansas City on Jan. 4.·         Following a botched snap on a Patriots punt, Indianapolis recorded a safety to cut New England’s lead to 21-12. The safety was the first for the Colts in team postseason history. MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES SCORING IN NFL POSTSEASON HISTORY                 Player                 Years            Games                                               Adam Vinatieri    1996-2013      27                 David Akers         1998-2013      24                 George Blanda     1949-1975      19 o    Mathis moved into a tie with Justin Snow and Reggie Wayne for the third-most postseason games played in franchise history with 18. ·         Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton led the team in receiving and finished with four catches for 103 yards against the Patriots.o    For the second consecutive week Hilton topped the 100-yard receiving plateau while making long receptions of 40 and 46 yards.o    With four receptions, he passed Brandon Stokley (22) for the seventh-most catches in Colts postseason history.o    With 103 receiving yards, Hilton passed Eddie Hinton (380) for the fourth-most yards in team postseason history.last_img read more

Read More »

Affordable Information Superhighway: Program Offers Low-Cost Internet

first_imgHome Internet is no longer a luxury. Many people consider it a necessity for North Carolina families as they go to school, work and lead their daily lives, but until now, the monthly cost of the service has been prohibitive for many families.That’s changing with a new program offered by AT&T that offers online access for as little as $5 a month. Josh Gelinas, a spokesman for the communications giant, explained why it is offering a low-cost option.“An Internet connection has the ability to change lives,” he said, “and access from AT&T will enable low-income households to apply for jobs online, connect with family and friends, research health information, complete an online education and much more. We feel that’s very important.”AT&T’s program is part of an agreement made with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when the company acquired Direct TV in 2015. The program is based on income eligibility, and the company will waive installation and Internet equipment fees for qualifying individuals.Sharon Goodson, executive director of the North Carolina Community Action Association, said the program will be valuable to thousands in the state and help them advance in life.“For many of the families that we serve, affordability is a factor,” she said, “and this service is valuable to us because it will allow us to connect students to the information that they need for papers and projects as well as being able to connect families to the tools and the resources they need to be able to better manage their finances.”According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 74 percent of all households report using the Internet. Gelinas said the widespread use of the technology makes it a necessity as people try to compete in the modern world.“We believe that access to the internet is something that is definitely going to – already has – improved our economy, education, health care,” he said.Census data also indicates that internet use is significantly lower for households with incomes of less than $25,000 a year. Last year, President Obama announced a national initiative to promote fast and affordable broadband access in more communities across the country.Census data is online at census.gov.last_img read more

Read More »

LIFE JACKET LOANER STATIONS OPEN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

first_imgSafe Kids Jackson County is excited to announce that all five Life Jacket Loaner Stations will be stocked with life jackets in time for Memorial Day weekend!  On May 25th, these Stations (located at the Tuckasegee River Main Stem: East LaPorte, Locust Creek, Dillsboro (Scotts Creek), Barkers Creek, and Bear Lake) will offer life jackets of varying sizes for children to borrow while they participate in water activities near the site.  Life jackets will be available throughout the summer—from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.With the many lakes and rivers in the area, safety around bodies of water is a concern for our community.  Jackson County prides itself on its various outdoor opportunities and believes that passing along the love of nature to generations to come is important. Sadly, drowning is a reality that too many families have had to face in Jackson County.  Through providing the Life Jacket Loaner Stations, children will be given the opportunity to bond with nature, family, and friends in a safer environment.The Stations were made possible through the efforts of multiple agencies such as Duke Energy and the Brian and Nathan Keese Water Safety Organization, Safe Kids Jackson County, Jennings Builder Supply, Jackson County Department of Public Health, Jackson County Public Works Department, and the Sea Tow Foundation.For question on the Stations, call Anna Lippard at 828-587-8225.last_img read more

Read More »

Five Takeaways from the 2016 NRF PROTECT Conference and Expo

first_imgIs there an intrinsic value in attending industry conferences and similar events? Do we really learn anything?Ultimately, that’s up to the individual. But this year’s NRF PROTECT conference provided a wealth of opportunities to meet with peers, share experiences, and learn from one another. Here are a few takeaways from this year’s NRF PROTECT event in Philadelphia:Loss prevention issues are influencing world news, and vice-versa. As the opening keynote session with Ted Koppel underscored, there are direct correlations between some of the top world news subjects, the ongoing political climate in Washington, the financial future of the country, and many of the topics that we deal with on a regular basis in the world of loss prevention. A powerful message to kick off the 2016 NRF PROTECT conference, this was a similar theme to the message delivered by correspondent Amy Walter at the RILA asset protection conference in April. Loss prevention leadership has clearly identified the subject as an important industry trend. As a result, the development of our loss prevention/asset protection programs and practices and how we protect our customers, our employees, our products, our sales channels, our resources, and our procedures becomes exponentially important. Our mindset in strategy and approach will have a direct influence on loss prevention focus, planning, and methodology as we move forward in this new age of retailing.The Exposition Hall remains a critical aspect of the conference experience. Learning more about the latest and best products available to the retail loss prevention community is an ongoing responsibility for loss prevention leadership, but this is by no means the sole experience gained when walking through the exposition hall. The expo floor provides a goldmine of opportunity to discuss products and trends, learn, and interact with the top solution providers and thought leaders in the country regarding critical subjects. There are networking opportunities and product demonstrations, but a host of other learning experiences and innovative prospects that are available when you bring together top industry leadership and subject matter experts in a shared venue.The relationship between loss prevention and our law enforcement partners continues to develop and expand. In so many ways these relationships are vital in our efforts to combat organized retail crime and many other critical aspects of our roles and responsibilities. As demonstrated through the networking conversations in the NRF Fusion Center as well as through the significant growth and sophistication of ORCAs founded across the country, the relationships that we develop with our law enforcement partners continues to gain momentum. There are numerous task forces, specialized crime units, not-for-profit groups, and state and federal organizations that are not only available, but eager and enthusiastic about working with the retail industry to battle these issues that can extend well beyond theft incidents and can have significant impact on our communities.Smartphones are changing the way we experience everything. It really wasn’t that long ago that mass adoption of the smartphone was generally made available, and the first iPhone wasn’t introduced until 2007. But the power to have an advanced mobile operating system at our fingertips has revolutionized so much more than the way that we communicate. NRF PROTECT, like so many conferences today, takes advantage of a mobile app to help attendees navigate the conference experience. But walking through the exposition hall, observing behaviors between sessions—and during sessions—it is exponentially clear that these devices have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. As the world continues to shrink, these tools will only continue to add conveniences and responsibilities that will transform the way that we live and work.Mentoring relationships and remaining true to our basic principles is a badge of the industry. Regardless of the venue there is an underlying tone that the collective value of our knowledge, ideas, and experiences best serves the retail industry and the shared culture of loss prevention as a whole. This was demonstrated by the speakers and echoed by the audience through many of the sessions. It was seen in the passion and conviction of the topics, and how they were received. But it was also echoed through the one-on-one “Mentor Experience” career coaching sessions offered by the NRF membership throughout the 2016 event. Whether it is an informative presentation, a constructive challenge, or a spirited debate, there is a common chord to strengthen the industry and best serve our companies, our departments, and our people.All of these points lead us to the clear and classic message that a continuing commitment to professional training, awareness, insight and development are absolutely essential in order to remain relevant and successful. It highlights the need for these types of events, and the value of staying current and informed.- Sponsor – If you attended the event, what are some of your takeaways from the NRF PROTECT conference? Did you have a favorite speaker or topic? What would you like to see from future events? If you couldn’t attend, how would you like to see us expand our coverage of the loss prevention conference experience? We would love to hear from you. Please reach out to us at [email protected] and let us know what you think. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Read More »