Category: eplch

Nearly 9000 raised so far at Fort St John Jail n Bail

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Three local law enforcement members and their colleagues have raised nearly $9,000 so far at this year’s Jail ‘n’ Bail in Fort St. John.RCMP Corporal Spencer Owen, Constable Rebecca Bojczuk, and Sheriff Joelle Jensen will be riding over 700 kilometres from Prince George to Prince Rupert in this year’s Cops for Cancer – Tour de North, which starts on September 14th.To help the three peace officers raise money the Jail ‘n’ Bail event – which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – is also featuring a burger barbecue until 2 p.m. at the Canadian Tire parking lot. Acting Judge and mayor Lori Ackerman hands down a verdict at this year's Jail 'n' Bail. Photo by Chris Newton Acting Judge and mayor Lori Ackerman hands down a verdict at this year’s Jail ‘n’ Bail. Photo by Chris Newton Fort St. John residents seek "bail money" at this year's Jail 'n' Bail. Photo by Chris Newton Fort St. John residents seek “bail money” at this year’s Jail ‘n’ Bail. Photo by Chris Newton So far, 15 residents have been “arrested” in this year’s event on charges that included “coming off a little peachy,” “exceeding their limit of fabulous shoes,” “not having enough fun this summer,” and “having a pocket square that didn’t match their tie,” among several othersAs of 1:00 p.m., the event had raised $8,785, though that number is expected to climb as several other notable residents – including mayor Lori Ackerman – had been issued “warrants” or been placed in “jail.”Since May, the three officers have ridden over 2,300 kilometres to train for this year’s Tour de North. Last year’s Jail ‘n’ Bail in Fort St. John raised $21,355, and Cpl. Owen said he was optimistic about beating that tally this year.Cpl. Owen said that members of the public are still able to nominate their friends, family members and coworkers to be “arrested” by an RCMP member. “Wanted” posters are able to be filled out at the Fort St. John RCMP detachment, as well as at the Jail ‘n’ Bail event location.last_img read more

TSX declines as subpar retail sales data add to economic concerns

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market was lower Wednesday as weak corporate performances and retail sales data reminded traders of the fragile state of the economic recovery.The S&P/TSX composite index moved down 47.3 points to 12,069.62 and the TSX Venture Exchange climbed 1.69 points to 1,241.02.The Canadian dollar fell 0.25 of a cent to 100.79 US cents amid a big miss on retail sales for June.Statistics Canada reported that retail sales fell 0.4%, against expectations of a 0.1% rise.Markets in New York also backtracked after a report from the U.S. real-estate industry showed of sales of previously owned homes increased last month but less than anticipated.The Dow Jones industrials was down 57.44 points to 13,146.14. The Nasdaq gave back 5.97 points to 3,061.2 and the S&P 500 index declined 4.35 points to 1,408.82.The U.S. National Association of Realtors said home resale volume rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July, a 2.3% increase from the previous month’s rate.The annual sales pace remains below the roughly 5.5 million that economists consider healthy and slightly less than the 4.52 million that economists expected in JulyThe median price of existing U.S. homes climbed 9.4% year-over-year to US$187,300.“The housing market in the U.S., which is core to banking and core to the consumer in terms of the wealth side, continues to trickle ahead,” said Chris King, portfolio manager at Morgan, Meighen and Associates.“Not big leaps and big turnarounds (but) it is ticking along in the right direction.”Resource stocks led the TSX lower as mining giant BHP Billiton reported that its annual profit plunged 34.8% from a year ago to US$15.4 billion as a slowdown in global economic growth led to weaker prices for its key commodities.BHP’s revenue for the year was up 0.7% to $72.2-billion.In addition, Chinese car maker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. said first-half profit was flat and trading conditions in the world’s biggest auto market in the second half of 2012 “are expected to be more challenging.”Adding to signs of a global slowdown in growth, Japan posted a $6.5-billion trade deficit in July, compared with a surplus the year before, as exports fell 8%. Exports of autos and electronics by Asia’s second-biggest economy have been hurt by the strengthening yen as well as weak demand from Europe.The metals and mining sector was lower even as copper added to Tuesday’s eight-cent runup with the metal up a penny at US$3.46 a pound. Teck Resources shed 44 cents to $29.48 while Sherritt International gave back 14 cents to $4.61.The energy sector was off 0.4% as the October crude price on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 41 cents to US$97.25 a barrel amid a sharper than expected decline in U.S. inventories last week. Suncor Energy pulled back 51 cents to $31.68 and Canadian Natural Resources declined 31 cents to $31.46.Financials were also weak as Scotiabank eased 39 cents to $52.96.The gold sector was the leading advancer as December bullion faded 70 cents to US$1,642.20 an ounce. Iamgold Inc. rose 15 cents to $12.48.Markets have found some support this week on hopes that the European Central Bank will address the problem of high borrowing costs for heavily indebted countries such as Spain by buying government bonds.Europe’s financial crisis will remain a pressure point for investors. Greece’s prime minister will meet several European counterparts this week, starting Wednesday, as he seeks to get more time to enact painful reforms and spending cuts.Antonis Samaras said that he wants more time to carry out the measures, possibly setting the stage for confrontation with Germany, which has grown impatient with delays.Greek officials are preparing 11.5 billion euros in spending cuts the country needs to carry out in order to receive rescue loans protecting it from bankruptcy.Traders will also focus on the release mid-afternoon of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last interest rate meeting for any indications that the central bank may be thinking about further stimulus measures.European bourses were sharply lower as London’s FTSE 100 index shed 1.47%, Frankfurt’s DAX was down 1.07% and the Paris CAC 40 was down 1.33%.In other corporate news, dozens of independent merchants who operate 164 Rona stores across Canada have written to the head of Lowe’s Companies, saying they are opposed to a takeover of Quebec-based Rona Inc. The letter, made public Wednesday, says the independents prefer Rona’s approach of combining a network of independents with more than 200 corporate stores. Rona shares were down 26 cents to $12.86.Shares in Dell Inc. slumped 6.9% to US$11.49 as the computer maker earned $732-million, or 42 cents per share, an 18% decline from last year as the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets undercut sales of computers.In a sign of further weakness ahead, Dell lowered its earnings target by 20% for its fiscal year ending in January. Dell trimmed its full-year guidance, even though its adjusted earnings for the just-completed quarter topped analyst projections.The Canadian Press read more

Magna International Inc raises dividend but earnings hit by strong American dollar

AURORA, Ont. — Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG) says the strong American dollar had a significant negative impact on its fourth-quarter revenue, which is reported in U.S. currency.The Canadian autoparts giant based in Aurora, Ont., says its sales for the last three months of 2015 were $8.6 billion, down three per cent from $8.8 billion a year earlier.It says that included a $770-million hit from the weaker Canadian dollar and the euro against the U.S. dollar.Linamar stock rout doesn’t reflect auto-industry reality, CEO saysBelinda Stronach’s latest makeover sees her drinking from the fountain of youth with new ‘ingestible beauty products’How Magna International Inc is looking to startups for the next big thing in the auto industrySales revenue would have been up six per cent from the fourth quarter of 2014 without the currency fluctuation.Magna’s net income from continuing operations was also down year-over-year, dropping by 6.4 per cent to $483 million from $516 million. Earnings per share dropped to $1.19 from $1.23.Its chief executive, Don Walker, says Magna’s results were strong apart from the impact of currency fluctuation and its board of directors increased the quarterly dividend, which rises by 14 per cent to 25 cents per share with the March payment. read more

UN health agency reports rapid spread of bird flu to 13 new

But apart from Iraq, none of the countries newly affected during February has reported human cases of the H5N1 virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Iraq has reported two human cases, both of which were fatal; samples from several other patients are currently undergoing tests.The 13 countries, listed in order of reporting, are Iraq, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Iran, Austria, Germany, Egypt, India and France. Malaysia yesterday reported a fresh outbreak in poultry after having been considered free of the disease for more than a year.Since the first reports of H5N1 in Asia at the end of 2003, 170 human cases have been reported, 92 of them fatal, mostly in South-East Asia and China. Nearly 200 million domestic poultry have died or been culled in order to contain the spread. The economic loss to the affected Asian countries has been estimated at around $10 billion.UN health officials have warned that the virus could evolve into a lethal human pandemic if it mutates into a form which could transmit easily between people. Cases so far have been traced to infection directly from diseased birds. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920 is estimated to have killed from 20 million to 40 million people worldwide.The situation in the 13 recently affected countries varies greatly. Most European countries with good veterinary surveillance have detected the virus in a small number of wild birds only, with no evidence to date of spread to domestic birds.In Azerbaijan, detection has coincided with die-offs of domestic birds. In Egypt, outbreaks in domestic poultry have now been confirmed in 10 governorates; deaths have also been reported in exotic zoo birds. In Iraq, presence of the virus in birds was found only after the country confirmed its first human case.In Nigeria, as in India, the first cases were detected in large commercial farms, where the disease is highly visible and outbreaks are difficult to miss.For human health, experience elsewhere over the past two years has shown that the greatest risk of cases arises when the virus becomes established in small backyard flocks, which allow continuing opportunities for close human contact, exposures, and infections to occur.All available evidence indicates that the virus does not spread easily from poultry to humans. To date, very few cases have been detected in poultry workers, cullers, or veterinarians. Almost all cases have been linked to close contact to diseased household flocks, often during slaughtering, de-feathering, butchering, and preparation of poultry for consumption.No cases have been linked to the consumption of properly cooked poultry meat or eggs, even in households where disease was known to be present in flocks. read more

FMG backs Western Australia Aboriginal businesses in latest contract awards

first_imgFortescue Metals Group has awarded more than A$6 million ($4.4 million) worth of contracts to two Western Australia Aboriginal businesses, as part of the iron ore company’s Billion Opportunities programme.Aboriginal-Noongar owned business Kooya Australia Fleet Solutions, Australia’s largest indigenous fleet management and rental company, has been awarded a three-year contract for the supply of light and commercial leased vehicles across Fortescue’s operational sites, while majority owned Aboriginal business Thuroona Services has been given a contract for maintenance work at Fortescue’s rail operations.Since the inception of Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities in 2011, 270 contracts and sub-contracts valued at A$2 billion have been awarded to 110 Aboriginal-owned business and joint ventures, Fortescue said.Fortescue Chief Financial Officer Ian Wells said the contracts signified the company’s continued commitment to supporting local content as part of its procurement process.“By partnering with Aboriginal businesses to build their capability and capacity, we are opening the doors to future work with other organisations which is fundamental to their economic sustainability and prosperity,” he said.last_img read more

Maximum payouts to double in District and Circuit Courts under new legislation

first_imgAs a further measure to deal with concerns relating to possible inflation of awards and a consequent effect on insurance costs, I am proposing to restrict the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court to €60,000 in respect of personal injury actions.Read: Reporting to be allowed on family law and child care court cases > GOVERNMENT HAS PUBLISHED the Courts Bill 2013, which aims to allow for greater coverage of family law and child care proceedings, while also increasing the amount which can be awarded by both the Circuit and District Courts.The in camera rule is to be altered in order to allow for certain cases to be attended by media representatives. The courts will retain the power to exclude these same representatives where appropriate and/or to prohibit the publishing of certain details as given in evidence.The maximum which can be awarded by both the District and Circuit Courts in civil proceedings are also set to change. The amount which can be awarded in the District Court is to more than double under the Bill, from €6,384 to €15,000.Similarly, the maximum award in the Circuit Court is set to rise to €75,000, up from €38,092. In the case of personal injury cases, the amount that can be awarded by the Circuit Court will be capped at €60,000.Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said that the reforms were “long overdue”. On the topic of altering of the in camera rule, Shatter said that it would “add transparency to the conduct of family law and child care proceedings and will provide valuable information on the operation of the law in this area.”The minister added that the “best interests of the child” would still be to the fore, and that a balance would need to be struck in order to ensure that the “anonymity and privacy of families and individuals” was still maintained, where appropriate.On the subject of the changes to the jurisdictional limits of the Circuit and District Courts, Shatter said that this “should ultimately lead to a reduction in the burden of legal costs for individuals and companies involved in litigation.”last_img read more

Former student 19 charged with premeditated murder after 17 killed in Florida

first_img Thursday 15 Feb 2018, 7:30 AM By Hayley Halpin 133,439 Views Photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz. Source: AP/PA ImagesUpdated at 1pm Former student (19) charged with premeditated murder after 17 killed in Florida school shooting It is understood that both pupils and teachers at the school are among the dead. It has been confirmed that 17 have died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.A number of other people have been taken to hospital for treatment.The gunman has been identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former pupil at the school who was expelled.Both pupils and teachers are said to be among the dead.It is understood Cruz began shooting outside the school before going inside.SUSPECTED GUNMAN NIKOLAS Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after 17 people were killed during a school shooting in Florida.Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters yesterday evening that 12 people were killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The others died outside the school premises.Cruz was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and was carrying multiple magazines of ammunition when he was arrested in a nearby residential area.17 patients were taken Broward Health hospitals with injuries. 8 patients were taken to Broward Health North hospital – two subsequently died, three are in critical condition and three are in stable condition. The suspect was taken to hospital for treatment.Speaking to reporters yesterday evening, a doctor from Broward Health North said: ”We routinely run drills to be ready for instances like this. We have a process in place that gets initiated so there is calm, collected care that our patients receive.” Students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School evacuate following a shooting. Source: WPLG-TV via APHe said that three patients were undergoing surgery, but were in a stable condition.The doctors declined to comment on the ages of those injured.Israel identified the gunman as Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at the school who had been expelled for “disciplinary reasons,” but was currently enrolled in Broward County Public Schools.Cruz, whose fellow students described him as “troubled,” was arrested without incident in the nearby town of Coral Springs after the Valentine’s Day rampage and taken to hospital with minor injuries, the sheriff said.“We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things… are very, very disturbing,” Israel said. Short URL Share534 Tweet Email Feb 14th 2018, 8:10 PM If a person is predisposed to commit such a horrific event by going to a school and shooting people … there’s not anybody or not a lot law enforcement can do about it.It is understood that the shooter began shooting outside the school and proceeded inside.Israel says the man had at least one rifle and multiple magazines.ReactionsUS president Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to those affected by the shooting yesterday evening.“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” Trump said.The shooting, one of several in the United States since the start of the year, will once again throw the spotlight on the country’s epidemic of gun violence and the ready accessibility of weapons, with 33,000 gun-related deaths annually.Len Murray’s 17-year-old son, a junior at the school, sent his parents a text around 2.30pm: “Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I’m in the auditorium and the doors are locked.”A few minutes later, he texted again: “I’m fine.”Ambulances converged in front of the school, and TV news broadcasts showed at least one person being wheeled to an ambulance on a gurney.Live footage also showed emergency workers appearing to treat possibly wounded people on the sidewalks. It wasn’t immediately clear how many were wounded.Television footage showed police in olive fatigues, with weapons drawn, entering the school, then dozens of children frantically running and walking quickly out.[image alt=”School Shooting Florida” src=”×195.jpg” width=”296″ height=”195″ credit-source=”WPLG-TV” credit-via=”AP” caption=”Students%20exiting%20the%20school%20after%20being%20alerted%20to%20an%20active%20shooter” class=”alignnone” /end]A police officer waved the students on, urging them to quickly evacuate. Some students exited the building in single-file rows with hands raised overhead to show they carried no weapons.Others held onto other students as they made their way out past helmeted police in camouflage with weapons drawn.The Broward Schools department said on its website earlier yesterday evening that it had received reports of “possible multiple injuries” and was dismissing students. The department said students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire and the school immediately went on lockdown.Murray said he raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings. He said he told his son to save his battery and stop texting, while the boy’s mother told him to turn off his ringer.‘I love you’Murray said he had just one thought running through his mind since he got his son’s text: “All I keep thinking about is when I dropped him off this morning – I usually say, ‘I love you’, and I didn’t think this morning.“He’s 17, he’s at that age, and I didn’t say it this morning, and I’m just kicking myself right now over and over and over. Say it early and often, I’m telling you.”The high school is a sprawling complex set on a track in the South Florida community of Parkland, about 70 kilometres north of downtown Miami. Family reunited outside the school Source: Sun Sentinel/TNS/ABACA/PA ImagesThe school had just over 3,100 students in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Major streets run along two sides and an expressway passes nearby on the other not far from a residential neighbourhood of single-family homes.Coral Springs Police have warned the local public to avoid the area. The school was placed on lockdown following the shooting, as students and teachers were barricaded in.‘Just a horrible day for us’Teacher Melissa Falkowski told US networks that she had helped 19 students squeeze into a closet with her.“We were in there for probably 40 minutes. We were locked in the closet until SWAT came and got us,” she told CNN.Police officers in helmets, bulletproof vests and armed with automatic weapons could be seen stationed at several points around the sprawling school complex, which serves nearly 3,000 students. Family members awaiting news from students at the school Source: Sun Sentinel/TNS/ABACA/PA Images“Just a horrible day for us,” said the superintendent of the county’s school district, Robert Runcie.“This is very sad to me and our family too,” 61-year-old Joseph Panikulangara, whose 17-year-old niece Dhiya attends the school, told AFP.The FBI said it was assisting local law enforcement with the investigation.When asked about security, Hunschofsky said a police officer is always stationed at the school and there is a “single point of entry.”With reporting by Associated Press and AFPRead: Oxfam Ireland emails supporters, promises to ‘rebuild trust’ after UK staff’s Haiti prostitution scandalMore: Remains of French nine-year-old who disappeared at wedding in August found 222 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Déclin vertigineux de la faune sauvage du Massaï Mara depuis 30 ans

first_imgDéclin vertigineux de la faune sauvage du Massaï Mara depuis 30 ans Publiée dans le Journal of Zoology, une étude statistique allemande et kenyane montre une baisse énorme des effectifs parmi la grande faune du Massaï Mara, au Kenya. Variable selon les espèces, ce déclin serait dû au braconnage, mais surtout à la prolifération du bétail domestique sur la réserve.Impalas, phacochères, girafes et bubales ont vu leur population diminuer de plus de 70% au cours des 33 dernières années dans la réserve du Massaï Mara, au Kenya. Le nombre de zèbres a chuté de trois quarts, et celui des gnous de 64% durant la saison sèche et de 97% durant la saison humide. Dans le même temps, le nombre de têtes de bétail domestique dans la réserve s’est accru de plus de… 1.100 % !À lire aussiVoilà à quoi ressemblent les cris de petits rhinocérosÉpluchant les données recueillies depuis 1977 concernant 13 espèces (grands mammifères, autruches et bétail), le Dr Joseph Ogutu, biostatisticien à l’Université de Hohenheim (Allemagne) et ses collègues de l’Institut international de recherche sur l’élevage, à Nairobi (Kenya), ont été surpris par les résultats, qui montrent l’insuffisance des mesures de protection.Il semble y avoir trois causes principales à ce dramatique déclin : l’activité des braconniers, l’évolution de l’utilisation des terres dans les fermes de la région, et une augmentation du nombre et de la diversité du cheptel détenu sur ces exploitations (bovins, chèvres et moutons), qui paissent sur le territoire de la réserve malgré l’interdiction.Le 5 juin 2011 à 11:12 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Police Senior citizen killed in Clairemont Mesa crash

Lawsuit against California electric companies

Heavy snow factors into collapse of The Dome sports complex

first_imgThe collapse of “The Dome” – an Anchorage sports complex – over the weekend, has left some people wondering whether their own roofs can withstand the weight of the recent heavy snowfall.Listen nowMike Martin, the board chairman for Anchorage Sportsplex Inc. – the Dome, said exactly what caused the facility to collapse Saturday is still under investigation, but snow appears to be a significant factor.“We’re also trying to determine whether or not there are other factors, and if so, what they are,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of things that go into keeping The Dome standing and inflated, and including management of the snow load.”The Dome opened in 2006, and has survived heavy snowfall in the past.But, does The Dome’s collapse mean Anchorage residents should shovel their own roofs?Kent Kohlhase, the acting building official for the Municipality of Anchorage, said snow loads are still fairly light, and while homes should not be in imminent danger, he said it’s a good idea for residents to keep an eye on their roofs.“They know best the issues that they may have had in the past with their homes with things such as ice damming and water leaks and things like that, and where snow may drift and pile up,” Kohlhase said. “So really a homeowner should always take the time to monitor things.”Even with warmer temperatures and a chance for rain later in the week, Kohlhase said it’s unlikely the snow load will reach a dangerous weight.But, if you do clear off your roof, Kohlhase urges caution. He also recommends leaving a buffer of snow.“Certainly be very careful and we’d recommend against using an ice chipper, but leaving that snow provides a layer of protection and also provides for better footing for somebody when they’re up on a pitched roof,” Kohlhase said.Kohlhase said the Municipality is working with officials at The Dome, to determine the cause of the structure’s collapse.Though there’s no precise timetable, Martin said The Dome can and will be repaired.“The manufacturer has indicated that the damage, to whatever degree it is, is repairable,” Martin said. “And that we will do so as quickly as possible.”Until then, Martin said other organizations have reached out to provide temporary space to some Dome users – which number in the thousands each week during the winter.last_img read more

Therere rumours about my ill health dont worry I am alright

first_imgNew Delhi: Denying reports about being unwell, former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday evening asked her well wishers not to get worried and took to social media to inform that she was doing fine. “aaj ke ttviitts dekh kr aisaa lgtaa hai kii jaise mere asvsth hone kii aphvaah cl rhii hai / maiN sbhii shubhciNtkoN ko btaanaa caahtii huuN kii kRpyaa ciNtaa n kreN / maiN bilkul tthiik huuN (After viewing today’s tweets, it seems as if there are rumours about me being unwell. I want to tell all the well-wishers that I am all right. So please do not worry),” Swaraj wrote on Twitter. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us आज के ट्वीट्स देख कर ऐसा लगता है की जैसे मेरे अस्वस्थ होने की अफवाह चल रही है। मैं सभी शुभचिंतकों को बताना चाहती हूँ की कृपया चिंता न करें। मैं बिलकुल ठीक हूँ।— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2019 Last Saturday, Swaraj moved out of her official residence in New Delhi. Swaraj had opted out of the Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons. She was appointed the External Affairs Minister in the first term of Modi government in 2014. The portfolio is now held by former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar. During her tenure, the Bharatiya Janta Party leader was extremely active and popular on Twitter for reaching out to the Indian diaspora in distress. She was also loved by users for her witty and humorous replies.last_img read more

Ghostbusters The Board Game funded in two days

first_imgWhile the world still prepares for the all-women Ghostbusters reboot hitting theaters next summer, fans of the resurrected franchise now have another new project to look forward to. Board game maker Cryptozoic Entertainment recently launched a Kickstarter for an official Ghostbusters board game, and after just two days of funding the campaign has already surpassed its goal. Ghostbusters: The Board Game translates phantom hunting action into tabletop form. Players pick between Stantz, Spengler, Venkman, and Zeddemore and team up using their unique stats to trap targets on the customizable board.The Kickstarter page shows prototypes for the various ghostly game pieces, including a big Stay Puft boss figure, as well as illustrated art from IDW’s Ghostbusters comic book artist Dan Schoening. Other pieces of Ghostbuster gear, from the PKE meter to Ecto-1, are represented, and of course, players can get slimed. Different stretch goals and backer rewards promise new upgrades like glow-in-the-dark dice and custom game pieces of Slimer and Zuul.Having already made games out of Adventure Time and DC Comics, Cryptozoic Entertainment is no stranger to franchises. But even though they must have already secured the rights to make this game in the first place, Ghostbusters: The Board Game still needed some help on Kickstarter to become a reality. Fortunately, given the popularity of the source material, the game has already raised over $300,000, well over its $250,000 target.So now, with weeks still left to go in the campaign, interested players can pre-order the game and help it reach its stretch goals. Expect Ghostbusters: The Board Game to haunt table tops everywhere this October.last_img read more

How to Get a 1 Billion Valuation in Just Eight Months

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » If any company embodies the Age of the Unicorn (the subject of Fortune’s latest cover story), it’s Slack.The business software maker can easily serve as an example of why we’re in a tech bubble. Its namesake product is only eight months old and the company is worth $1 billion. How is that even possible? Is money even real in Silicon Valley?But Slack just as easily serves as an example of a budding company that is already hinting at how big an opportunity it could be. It’s not mere speculation, either. Slack has grown as much as 7% each week since it launched—a pace large companies aspire to hit each year—adding thousands of new users who pay for the service. The company has 100 employees and it’s only burning $100,000 per month. Sure, it’s not even a year old. But it’s clearly going to be huge.This is how you get to $1 billion so quickly.After ignoring daily inquiries from venture capitalists all summer, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield decided in September to take a week’s worth of meetings, “to see where things were at.” Slack had launched in February, a year after the company shut down a gaming product that never took off. The new product, a collaboration tool for desk workers, was an immediate hit. By April, Slack’s early traction was enough for it to raise $42.8 million, valuing the company at $250 million.The news stoked the hype around Slack. Venture capitalists witnessed its rapid adoption at their portfolio companies. The emails from investors had swelled to 10 new funding offers per week. Sometimes it from was investors Butterfield knew. (He had previously co-founded the photo-sharing site Flickr, which sold to Yahoo in 2005.) Often they were from complete strangers hoping he’d take their money.Slack didn’t need the money, but Butterfield decided to test the waters because he believed this era of easy venture capital high valuations would not last forever. “I’m one of those people who think the other shoe has yet to drop from 2008,” he says. “I lost a shitload of money in 2008, and I saw the fundraising environment tighten up. I’m aware of the cycle. It’s difficult to call a top, but it’s pretty obvious we’re far from the bottom.”There’s another, slightly less rational reason Butterfield decided to raise more money: He wanted a $1 billion valuation. If Slack couldn’t get that, he wouldn’t raise anything. The cachet of the figure is meaningful in an intangible way, he says. It means “we’re a part of that conversation about companies worth $1 billion.”He elaborates: “It’s definitely a psychological threshold and it helps for certain kinds of customers. When [we’re] negotiating with a Fortune 500 company on legal terms of service for some detail about what sort of deal they will get in the third year, then having the comfort of knowing we’re highly valued and financially secure, that really helps.”A billion dollars goes a long way with big hires, too. “There is a class of employees who are more risk-averse and work at some company like Google or Facebook and they have a mortgage and kids,” he says. “It helps a lot of those kinds of people as well.”But is the $1 billion valuation actually based on any real metrics? Were any numbers crunched, any spreadsheets analyzed, or any public comps selected? Not really. “There are fairly precise methods for putting a value on future cash flow given steady business,” Butterfield says. “We’re not in that position, obviously.” Put another way: Slack is growing too quickly for projections. At its last public announcement, 45,000 teams with 365,000 daily active users were paying to use Slack. “Every single day except holidays is a record for that day,” he says. “Every Tuesday is the best Tuesday we’ve had.”So why not pick the big, round number that helps with customers and recruiting? Butterfield acknowledges there’s quite a bit of growth baked into Slack’s valuation. “You have to choose some numbers,” he says. “One billion is better than $800 million because it’s the psychological threshold for potential customers, employees, and the press.”Slack had no problem getting investors to agree to the $1 billion valuation, by the way. Butterfield only wanted to raise $100 million; he ended up with $200 million in commitments and closed the round at $120 million. In the three months since raising the money, Slack has just about doubled everything—customers, revenue, users—and Butterfield expects it will repeat the feat in the next four months.So far Slack has only spent around 1% of the money it raised, Butterfield says. He’s confident that even if the economy turns south, Slack will be fine. “We’re able to weather pretty much any storm,” he says. “You’d have to be in a meteors-hitting-the-earth scenario before Slack as a business would get into trouble.”For more on Slack and the phenomenon of billion-dollar startups, read “The Age of Unicorns.” 5 min read January 22, 2015 This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazinelast_img read more

PROVIDENCIALES Turks Caicos – Molasses Reef a

first_imgPROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos – Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is partnering with lauded chef Gray Kunz to envision and create the resort’s three dining options, including its signature oceanfront restaurant.Uninhabited for over 100 years, the island of West Caicos is opening its shores to a new development – West Caicos Reserve. The centerpiece will be the intimate 125-room resort, Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. The island will also feature Ritz-Carlton-branded Island Villas, secluded single-family homes, custom homes, cottages and marina townhomes, two national parks, cultural heritage sites, a Spa and three restaurants.Inspired from the moment he set foot on the island, Chef Kunz says of the project, “There is no true way to describe West Caicos other than to see it for yourself. I am excited to be involved in creating three distinctive, memorable dining options at this singular place.” Celebrated for his heralded work at Lespinasse in New York City in the 1990s, Chef Kunz opened the one Michelin-starred Café Gray in The Time Warner Center in New York in October, 2004, and is planning his second establishment, Grayz, a destination bar and lounge with private event rooms in midtown, opening in September. The restaurant at Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will be Chef Kunz’s first Caribbean project.Authentic Design, Inspired Cuisine With the brilliant azure waters of the Caribbean as its backdrop and primary design element, the 114-seat restaurant will reflect the island’s barefoot luxury look and feel with Plantation-style design and several intimate indoor and outdoor terraced dining pavilions. Guests will enter through a wine room highlighted by a large plantation table where they will be able to taste and select wines, mingle and sample hors d’oeuvres. In the main dining room, a large display kitchen is the focal point, complete with a chef’s table set under a large pot-rack chandelier suspended from the vaulted ceiling. Inside, pitched plantation style ceilings, wideplank dark wood floors, polished nickel edge detailing, and antique fixtures complement the expansive ocean view. Outside, wraparound terraces with sofas and ottomans create intimate seating areas, perfect for enjoying West Caicos sunsets.With influences from his years spent in Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and paying homage to the island’s history, Chef Kunz’s menu will travel the globe, blending Asian and Western ingredients with fresh, local foods to create his signature Kunzian cuisine. Menu items will include dishes such as Salt Stone Simmered Lobster Tail with Harissa Sauce; Tobacco Smoked Blue Fin Tuna with Togarashi and a Citrus Glaze; Grilled Snapper with a Plantain Crumble, Crabmeat, Papaya and a Kaffir Emulsion; and Red Curry Lamb Stew with a Pink Lentil Crusted Chop and Eggplant Tart. Kunz’s food will be complemented by a world class wine cellar.About Chef Kunz Born in Singapore and raised in Switzerland, Chef Kunz was trained in the techniques of Classical French cuisine and quickly made his mark in the culinary world at great restaurants including Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne and Restaurant Girardet in Lausanne. In 1990, the now-famed Lespinasse opened in New York City with Kunz at the helm. He quickly earned four-stars in The New York Times and dozens of top accolades besides, from The James Beard Foundation to Gourmet magazine. In October 2004, Chef Kunz returned to New York’s culinary scene with Café Gray, his version of an Eastern European Brassiere. The restaurant received a coveted Michelin Star in October 2005. Gray Kunz will open Grayz on West 54th Street in midtown Manhattan in September 2007, featuring both a glamorous bar and cocktail lounge, and luxurious private dining facilities. The restaurant at Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will open in late 2008 along with the resort.About Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and West Caicos Reserve Blending traditional Caribbean architecture with English, French, Dutch and Spanish influences, Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will include 125 generously sized rooms in low-density buildings, two restaurants and a spa, spread along miles of uninterrupted beachfront. Completion of the resort, the first phase of the villas (approximately 30) and the marina is slated for late 2008.The 11-mile-long, 6,000-acre island of West Caicos features some of the most sublime beaches and brilliant azure water in the Caribbean. It is home to the 500-acre Lake Catherine, a natural wildlife sanctuary and breeding ground for pink roseate flamingoes as well as Molasses Reef, rumored to be the final resting place of Columbus’ Pinta and ranking among the world’s top dive sites. Reachable only by boat, small plane or helicopter, transportation on island will be primarily by electric vehicle and bicycle. To ensure that the island remains unspoiled, approximately 90 percent of the acreage will stay permanently undeveloped and the projects slated for development will all be low density. For more information, call (649) 941-7480 or visit or read more

Rep Chatfield introduces resolution to promote construction of new lock in Sault

first_img13Feb Rep. Chatfield introduces resolution to promote construction of new lock in Sault Ste. Marie State Rep. Lee Chatfield, of Levering, who serves as speaker pro tempore, introduced a resolution to support construction of a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and urge the president and Congress of the United States to fully fund the project.“The construction of a new lock is incredibly important to the northern Michigan economy and our national security,” said Chatfield. “This project is long overdue, and with a new president focused on our national security and improving our nation’s aging infrastructure – it’s a no-brainer.”Congress authorized construction of a second large, Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie in 1986, and in 2007, Congress authorized construction at full federal expense. Though the project has been authorized and preliminary work conducted, a lack of federal funding has stalled further work, Chatfield said.Only one of the four Soo Locks is large enough to accommodate the modern vessels that commonly traverse the Great Lakes. Thus, the reliance on one lock poses a serious risk to national security and the economies of the state of Michigan and the United States.A long-term outage of the Poe Lock due to lock failure or terrorist attack would disrupt steel production in the United States, crippling the economy and plunging the country into recession, Chatfield said. Because no viable transportation alternatives exist, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimated nearly 11 million jobs would be lost. Other studies indicate that even a short-term failure of 30 days could result in economic losses of $160 million.The economic benefits to Michigan, the Great Lakes region, and the entire country far outweigh the cost of constructing a new lock, Chatfield said. A 2017 report to the U.S. Department of Treasury estimated that the $626 million investment in a new lock would provide a return of up to four times that amount.“The construction of a new lock would be a boon for the Michigan economy and create good jobs in a region that continues to suffer from higher than average unemployment rates,” Chatfield said. “At its peak, the project would employ up to 250 workers and require 1.5 million working hours over the 10 years of construction.” Categories: Chatfield News,Newslast_img read more

Criminal justice reform sponsored by Rep Howrylak advances to the House floor

first_img06Dec Criminal justice reform sponsored by Rep. Howrylak advances to the House floor The House Law and Justice Committee voted this week to advance House Bill 5234, which was introduced by State Representative Martin Howrylak, to the House floor.Under current law, an inmate cannot retain public or private health insurance when they enter the county jail. Once an individual is incarcerated, the jail is required to pay for any needed medical treatment while the individual is in custody. As a result, counties across the state are incurring significant costs associated with 24-hour hospital watches for extremely ill prisoners receiving care from outside medical professionals.If enacted, HB 5234 will provide county jails with the ability to utilize compassionate release and medical probation for incarcerated individuals that meet specific requirements. Cases would be reviewed on an individual basis by a medical doctor, the Sheriff, and the court to determine if the individual is eligible for compassionate release or medical probation under this legislation.“Our counties are incurring significant costs to care for these individuals, even as they are no longer a threat to public safety,” said Howrylak, who is a committee member. “These are individuals who are medically incapacitated and have access to medical care, yet remain in jail and on the taxpayer’s dime because of their crimes. We should give the local sheriffs and judges an opportunity to make determinations for these very specific and rare cases.”In order to be eligible for medical probation or compassionate release under this legislation:A prisoner must be physically or mentally incapacitated due to a medical condition that requires 24-hour care or have a life expectancy of not more than six months.A placement option must be secured for the prisoner that does not pose a threat to the safety of the public or the prisoner.The county sheriff must determine if the expenses related to the prisoner’s placement will be paid by Medicaid, private insurance, or another form of payment before the prisoner is released.##### Categories: Howrylak News,Newslast_img read more

Rep Meerman Republicans lay out priorities for next two years

first_img State Rep. Luke Meerman stood with his House Republican colleagues this week to present their policy priorities for the 2019-20 session.Over the next two years, they pledge to continue Michigan’s comeback and improve opportunities for all Michigan families in their policy action plan titled, “Leading the Way for an Even Better Michigan.” The plan includes fixing the roads, a commitment to lowering Michiganders’ tax burden and strengthening the state’s agricultural economy.As a fifth-generation dairy farmer and small business owner, Meerman, of Polktown Township, said he knows well that all of these pieces of sound public policy work together to create an environment that works for Michigan’s farmers and small business owners.“A strong Michigan depends on strong small businesses and thriving agriculture,” Meerman said. “Over the last eight years, a lot of progress has been made to make Michigan both business and family friendly, but more work remains so that we can secure an even stronger Michigan for the next generation.”House Republicans will focus on the following priorities over the next two years:Building better roads, public water systems and increasing access to broadband.Protecting constitutional rights and religious freedoms.Working to increase government transparency.Putting more hard-earned money back into the pockets of Michigan taxpayers through lower car insurance rates and tax relief.Creating pathways to success for all students whether or not they go to college.The full text of the House action plan is available at 21Feb Rep. Meerman, Republicans lay out priorities for next two years Categories: Meerman News,Newslast_img read more

Protestors Oprahs Comments on Leadership Out of Touch and Elitist

first_imgShare4TweetShareEmail4 Shares  Rena Schild / Shutterstock.comJanuary 2, 2015;Washington PostIn a video posted on People magazine’s website, Oprah Winfrey last Friday criticized the movement of those currently protesting the police shootings of young black men as “leaderless.” In doing so, she illuminated the growing differences between older and younger social justice leaders as regards styles of leadership, coordination, and direction-setting.In a video on the site, she said:“I think it’s wonderful to march and to protest and it’s wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it…But what I’m looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.’”Protest organizers, many of whom are millennials and women, decried the statement and stated once again that the diffuse, leaderless approach that makes so many older leaders uncomfortable is a purposeful choice based in many considerations. “We very purposefully have been a leaderless movement. […] We’ve been doing that intentionally because we know absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said Brittany Packnett. “That ensures we remain about the heart of the movement rather than certain personalities.”“We’re the lost generation,” said Kayla Reed, 24, who grew up in north St. Louis County. “It was very necessary that we didn’t allow someone who’d done this before to come into this space. Michael Brown was my age bracket.”In fact, protest organizers say, Winfrey’s statement reveals her as out of touch and elitist.Some protestors have objected to being represented by the “old guard” of civil rights spokespeople, and although they may not completely conflate the idea of a central decision-making structure with that old guard, Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post writes that Matthew C. Whitaker, director of the Arizona State University Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, believes that times have legitimately changed as far as how a movement may be kept of a piece.Social media may have in some ways replaced the role of a traditional leader or organization, so the fact that some young people would reject the idea of a central standard-bearer makes some sense, Whitaker said. The protestors prefer “leadership that’s shared and that doesn’t rely so much on one major leader, because history has shown we kill those leaders,” he said. “We marginalize them. We undermine their reputation. We do something to undermine their ability to execute and lead. And, as a result, vacuums are left and the movement crumbles.”This important conversation has been echoed across many protest movements over the past five years. It deserves careful attention from those interested in movement building in this century.—Ruth McCambridgeShare4TweetShareEmail4 Shareslast_img read more

Could Collaborations Mean Better and Less Costly Healthcare

first_imgShare14TweetShare18Email32 Shares August 27, 2015; Crain’s New YorkThe massive disruption of the healthcare industry and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act have forced hospitals and physicians to create new ways of doing business and to redirect patient care from the acute care setting to primary care “medical homes” that focus on prevention and coordinate patient care. Today, $7.4 billion in New York State Medicaid reform initiatives suggest a new and much broader iteration of coordinated care, one that brings government and nonprofits together to address basic needs like food and housing that influence the health status of residents, particularly in low-income neighborhoods.The stakes are high. New York expects to see a 25 percent reduction in emergency visits within five years, largely through preventative measures. Up until now, nonprofits were, for the most part, going it alone without funding from Medicaid. This may seem counterintuitive, given the fact that their programs contribute to the overall health of the population. Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health said, “We have an enormous social work department, but all of their work is completely unreimbursed.” With Medicaid funding, organizations like the Institute can now extend their reach in holistically addressing the needs of patients, helping them to manage their housing, finances, and food buying so that they can live healthier lives and stay out of the hospital.The new partnerships should have a significant impact in tackling chronic diseases. Shoshanah Brown, executive director of a.i.r. NYC, an organization that helps asthmatic children in poor neighborhoods, says “community-based organizations like ours that are close to the ground and are very much in the community” can keep patients healthier. While the nonprofit has been in hospitals and schools since its launch in 2011, it has operated with grants and private funding. Recently, it has contracted with two Medicaid managed-care plans that will pay it to work with individual patients.Partnerships are also addressing diabetes, now epidemic in New York with an estimated 12.3 percent of the population having the disease and 36.2 percent with pre-diabetes. In most cases, adult-onset diabetes is preventable. Montefiore Medical Center has launched a program with the YMCA to prevent pre-diabetic patients from full-blown diabetes with a 16-week class teaching patients how to cook, where to shop for fresh food, and ways to exercise. Patients on an average lost 6.6 pounds, or three percent of their body weight. Dr. Amanda Parsons, Montefiore’s vice president of population health, said, “A lot of doctors are saying, ‘We can’t get patients to lose weight.’ So we say, ‘We get that.’” She added, “Just send your patients to us.”The impact of nonprofit and healthcare provider collaborations could be significant, particularly in the treatment of some of the most vulnerable patients: those with mental illness or substance abuse issues. Len McNally, retired director of health initiatives at the New York Community Trust, said, “They might go to the emergency room 50 times a year.” As a result of reform, healthcare providers can work with a housing group so that they can have a safe place to live and stay out of the hospital.The potential of these programs to make a lasting impact on communities is enormous. The nonprofit group God’s Love We Deliver subcontracts with several Medicaid managed-care plans to deliver meals to people who have recently been discharged from the hospital and those who can’t cook for themselves. Karen Pearl, chief executive of the organization, said, “Every day that we can help avoid one day in the hospital for somebody, that one-day saving can pay for half a year of medically tailored meal delivery.”The bottom line for healthcare spending? When New York nonprofits collaborate with healthcare providers, everyone wins.—G. Meredith BetzShare14TweetShare18Email32 Shareslast_img read more