George Atkinson III, a former Raiders kick returner and the son of Pro Bowl Oakland defensive back George Atkinson II, has died. He was 27 years old.The cause of death is not known.Josh Atkinson, George III’s twin brother, died of suicide on Christmas Day 2018. Two months earlier, the twins’ mother had died from complications of Crohn’s disease.George III wrote on theunsealed.com that he was “filled with anger and guilt,” after his brother’s death. “I was on an emotional roller coaster and …
25 October 2012 South Africa has budgeted a total of R234-billion for education in 2013/14 as the country continues to increase funding for the Grade R year and steps up its school infrastructure backlogs programme, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. Presenting his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in the National Assembly in Cape Town, Gordhan said the government would also spend R132-billion on health care next year, including funding for an improved diagnostic test for TB, additional allocations for the state’s HIV/Aids programme, and continued investment in hospitals and health infrastructure. A total of R136-billion would be spent in 2013/14 on social grants, road accident benefits, unemployment insurance and various social development and welfare services, with the number of social grant beneficiaries expected to rise to 17-million by 2015.Allocations to provinces Of the R949-billion in total allocations for 2013/14, 47% will go to national departments, 44% to the nine provinces – which are primarily responsible for the delivery of health and education services – and nine percent to local government. The provinces will get an additional R366-million to spend on infrastructure in the health sector, an extra R180-million for health infrastructure, and a further extra R186-million to add to the hospital revitalisation grant. In total, the provinces will get R418-billion in allocations in 2013/14, rising to R478-billion in 2015/16. Gordhan said changes to the provincial grant programmes over the next three years would include additional funds allocated to the comprehensive HIV and Aids grant to compensate for a reduction in donor funding and to allow for rising treatment numbers. Funds would also be added to the human settlements development grant for upgrading informal settlements. Added to this, spending on provincial roads will continue to increase and increased allocations will be made to the community library services grant.Improving spending by provinces Gordhan said South Africa’s provinces spent 98.7% or R368.3-billion of their adjusted budget of R373-billion in 2011/12, while national departments spent 97.7% or R498.9-billion of their R510.9-billion adjusted appropriation. Spending on compensation of employees by provinces accounted for 59% of expenditure in 2011/12. Though underspending from provinces amounted to R3.5-billion, Gordhan said there were signs of capital spending having improved in the first six months of 2012/13. He said that, in this period, the provinces had spent R189.2-billion or 48.7% of their main appropriation for the year, while national departments had spent 47.1% or R257.1-billion of their R546.4-billion in allocations over the same period. He called on provincial governments to modernise their supply chain management systems to deliver projects on time, at the right price and of the required quality. “We will channel more funding to provinces that adopt transparent systems and demonstrate their readiness to implement projects effectively,” he said. Source: SANews.gov.za read more
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Michael E. Russell, 78, of Urbana, was killed in a farm accident on May 15.According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Russell was checking a planter for an airline leak in a field off of Route 36 East. The equipment released when Russell was under the planter. Russell was pronounced dead at the scene.Urbana EMS, Mechanicsburg EMS, and the Champaign County Coroner assisted at the scene.For more, visit peakofohio.com.
Successful proposals that strengthen the codeThere were only a few successful proposals that will make homes and businesses more efficient in the 2018 code. On the residential side of the code, these will clarify how the Energy Rating Index (ERI) path of the code is calculated to ensure consistency for consumers, require a minimum level of efficiency for homes that meet the code with renewable energy, and mandate the installation of more efficient windows in most climate zones. Commercial buildings (including large multifamily buildings) will be required to have more efficient showerheads.Why were there so few efficiency gains? Well, the Residential Technical Advisory Committee, appointed by the International Code Council (ICC) to hear and make the initial recommendations for proposals, was downright hostile to code energy efficiency improvements this code development cycle.That matters because of the ICC voting rules: a recommendation by the committee to disapprove a proposal means that two-thirds of code officials would have to vote to overturn the committee decision. It was an uphill battle for anything efficiency-related, so we weren’t surprised that only a few proposals passed that actually strengthen the code. But the ones that did are still worth celebrating!RE166-16 — Reference to ANSI/ICC/RESNET 301 standard in the ERI path, and RE 173-16 — Modified ERI numbers an on-site generation backstopHere’s an example of where proposals that are “in the weeds” make a big difference in the real world. RE-166 links the Energy Rating Index (ERI) to the industry-standard ANSI/ICC/RESNET Standard 301, while RE173 adjusts the ERI compliance numbers and requires a minimum level of efficiency for homes using renewable energy.These two proposals were among the highest-profile issues decided during this code development cycle, and we’re happy to say that code officials agreed with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Leading Builders of America, the insulation industry, and other efficiency advocates who supported a broad compromise.By passing these two proposals together, there is increased certainty in the ERI path of the code that customers will receive a high-quality home. Furthermore, if builders use renewable energy to comply with the ERI path of the code, then they must first meet a more stringent thermal envelope backstop. This means that a home must be efficient and designed to use less energy first, before renewable energy is added, resulting in less energy use and less energy waste.It would be silly, for example, to allow a home to be built that doesn’t have much insulation, or has inefficient single paned windows just because it has solar panels on top — so these successful proposals prevent that from happening. These proposals promote both energy efficiency and renewable energy in homes, which are both key to a sustainable clean energy future.RE 31-16 — More efficient windows in homesWhile RE-19 (which NRDC supported) did not pass, a nearly identical proposal submitted by NAHB to make windows more efficient did pass. As a result, windows in climate zones 3-8 (everywhere but the most southern parts of states in the south and southwest) will need to be as good as — or better than, in some areas — the previous version of Energy Star.The next edition of the International Energy Conservation Code will be published later this year and available for adoption by state and local jurisdictions in 2018.There were a handful of other proposals that passed that will have a positive impact on the code, including proposals to insulate heated concrete slabs, adding a new type of fan to a mechanical ventilation system table, and a few small clarifying proposals.On the commercial side of the code, CE 175-16 Part 1 was successful. This sets the maximum flow rate of showerheads in commercial buildings at 2.0 gallons per minute, which is the level specified by the EPA Water Sense program since 2010. More efficient faucets not only save water (which has become increasingly important in California and many other drought-stricken areas of the country) but also cuts down on the energy used to heat and pump that water. By LAUREN URBANEKThe newest building energy code, which will govern how much energy and money is saved by new home and commercial building owners, was recently approved by code officials — and by and large, they voted to uphold the great efficiency gains made in past code cycles.The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is the model building energy code recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) and cited in federal law. It is updated every three years through a stakeholder process involving code officials, builders, efficiency advocates, and other interested parties. The process for developing the newest code has been underway for more than a year: proposals for the 2018 IECC went through multiple rounds of hearings and public comments before building code officials from around the country got the final vote. Once the model code is developed, it’s then up to state and local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce the codes. The IECC is used by more than 40 states. Proposals that would have weakened the codeGiven the anti-efficiency positions of the Technical Advisory Committee, playing defense was the name of the game for the efficiency advocates during this code cycle. Thankfully, our efforts were largely successful!The most significant proposals that were defeated would have increased air leakage in homes and allowed for builders to take credit in the performance path for efficiency gains between the minimum federal standard HVAC equipment and the type of equipment they install, and instead install less insulation or less-efficient windows. The increased air leakage proposal was a clear rollback of the code, and the equipment trade-off proposals would have created a huge free-ridership loophole given that more than 90% of installed equipment is already more efficient than the minimum standard.A number of other proposals, including one that would have allowed efficient lighting to replace other longer-lived improvements in the performance path of the code, and administrative proposals that would have changed key definitions to weaken the intent of the code, were also defeated.These bad proposals would have raised consumer utility bills, in many cases without them knowing about it ahead of time, as most of the impacted systems are not visible to the occupant. Savings from Building Energy Codes Are a Big DealThe 2012 Code Encourages Risky Wall StrategiesCould a Bare-Bones Energy Code Work?States Are Amending Then Adopting, the 2015 IECCICC Approves Changes to Energy CodeThe 2015 IECC Recognizes Home Energy Ratings What are energy codes, anyway?Building energy codes set specific requirements for the energy use of a building at the time of construction or during a major renovation. Codes are important because it’s much easier and less expensive to make energy efficient improvements while a home is under construction. Once something like insulation or windows is installed in a home, it’s likely to be a decade or more before they are replaced, and codes help make sure that efficient choices are made from the start.Codes have proven to be an incredibly effective tool to reduce energy use in homes and businesses, saving Americans money and reducing harmful pollution. A home built to the 2012 code uses about half of the energy as a standard home constructed in 1975 — but there’s still room for improved efficiency. Americans spend more than $200 billion each year on their energy bills and a recent Department of Energy report found that a modest 4% to 5% increase in the stringency of the building energy code could cumulatively save consumers $126 billion on their energy bills from 2010 to 2040. Those are real savings for building owners and occupants and the reduced energy use from such improvements as more efficient windows or thicker insulation also helps avoid the pollution from fossil fuel-fired electricity generation that fuels climate change. RELATED ARTICLES Efforts to weaken the code mostly rejectedWe didn’t see much in the way of big efficiency gains during this code development cycle. But, code officials were able to hold the line for efficiency, and that’s a particularly big deal this time around. The building code was under attack at every step of this year-long process.There were many proposals that would have significantly weakened the code and allowed more opportunities for energy waste, but nearly all were defeated. This alone is cause for celebration given that many of these proposals only needed a simple majority to pass, which proves what we knew all along: code official understand the importance of energy efficiency. Proposals that weaken the codeThere were just a few proposals that passed that will have a negative impact on the efficiency of the code. One exempts log homes from the residential thermal envelope requirements, which means those homes will likely not be as well-insulated or sealed as their non-log-home counterparts. Another allows for certain types of small multifamily buildings to be tested for compliance with the code in batches, rather than testing each individual unit. The rationale was that these units should be built identically, but this opens up the possibility of not every unit complying with the code.Given the large number of proposals that could have dramatically weakened the code, the ones that passed should have a relatively minor negative impact in terms of decreasing energy efficiency requirements. Proposals that would have strengthened the codeThe vast majority of proposals were voted down by code officials. Unfortunately, that included many that would have increased the energy efficiency of the code, including proposals for more efficient water heaters, more efficient lavatory faucets in homes, stronger building envelope requirements, and proposals for both residential and commercial buildings that would have required a 5% improvement in efficiency through a choice of flexible upgrades. These were all good proposals that NRDC supported, and we’ll keep pushing for them in the future. Next upThe votes have to be certified and confirmed by the ICC Board of Directors, which will happen in the upcoming months. The final version of the 2018 IECC will be published sometime in mid-to-late 2017, after which the Department of Energy will analyze the energy savings of the new code. With each new edition of the IECC, DOE is required by statute to issue a determination as to whether the updated edition will improve energy efficiency. States will begin adopting the code when it goes into effect in early 2018.While efficiency advocates didn’t get everything we wanted during this code cycle, we made good progress on some important issues. There’s room in future codes for much more cost-effective energy efficiency, and in the meantime we’ll be working with states and local jurisdictions to find the best possible outcomes as they adopt new codes. Lauren Urbanek is senior energy policy advocate in the NRDC’s energy and transportation program. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Expert Blog website. read more
The heart of growing your revenue is opportunity acquisition. More opportunities equals more sales (provided you win at the same rate and the average deal size is the same). But some sales organizations (and some salespeople) fail to acquire enough opportunities to grow.Failure to Acquire Opportunities from Existing ClientsSome sales organizations (and salespeople) don’t create enough opportunities from their existing client portfolio.These sales organizations do all of the work to acquire a client and then settle for a relatively low wallet share–even though they already have the relationships (or should), already have a contract, and already have some ideas as to how they might create more value for their clients. They stay focused on new client development, winning new clients only to half-win them, too.Never let it be said that I even hinted at the idea that you should slow down your efforts to hunt and to win new clients. But you also can’t easily grow if you don’t develop the clients you’ve already won, and that means working to acquire new opportunities from within those clients.Failure to Acquire Opportunities from New ClientsEven more sales organizations struggle to grow their revenue numbers because they believe that their existing clients can–and will–provide them with all of the opportunities they’ll ever need. But then they stall. Worse still, they lose a major client (or two), and all of sudden they find themselves in a tail spin.There is no way to win new clients and develop new opportunities fast enough to solve the problem of stalled or declining revenue once you start experiencing it. The time to have started hunting is long past by then. Even while you are developing existing clients, you have to keep your foot on the pedal.GrowthGrowing your revenue number is never really easy. But the recipe calls for acquiring new opportunities from within your existing clients while at the same time winning new clients. Focusing on only one at the expense of the other is the cause of stalled–or declining–revenue numbers.QuestionsDo you spend more time farming opportunities within your existing clients or hunting outside?Is your wallet share such that you can confidently say that you have all of the opportunities that you should have from within your client portfolio?How many new clients do you have to win to acquire enough opportunities to hit your revenue targets?Are you neglecting one source of new opportunities? Are you neglecting both? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now read more
Game one of all five Masters divisions (Men’s 30’s, Women’s 30’s, Men’s 40’s, Senior Mixed and Men’s 50’s) as well as game three of all four Youth divisions, including the all important decider in the 18’s Boys division.10.00amWomen’s 30’sMen’s 50’s11.10amSenior MixedMen’s 40’s18’s Girls12.20pm 20’s BoysMen’s 30’s1.30pm20’s Girls2.40pm18’s BoysRelated LinksSTT Day Three
Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä is open for acquisition opportunities in the market that might fit its strategy moving forward.The likely candidate could be Rolls-Royce’s loss-making marine division which has been put under strategic review by the company.Speaking at today’s press conference on the poential acquisition of Rolls-Royce’s business Jaakko Eskola President & CEO said that Wärtsilä would “need to look at what is available there and what is going to be their final plan.”“If we see an interesting player in the market, who would fit well into our strategy… we would definitely look at it,” Eskola noted.The previous talks on a potential business combination between the two companies fell through as the Finish technology group believed the move would not result in the addition of “incremental value” to the company.However, while commenting on the situation now, this doesn’t seem to be the issue anymore.Earlier this month, UK-based engineering company Rolls-Royce said it would launch a strategic review of available options for its Commercial Maritime division, which are likely to include finding a new owner for the business.Rolls-Royce is working on the further reshuffling of its business structure and plans to reduce its five operating units to three core businesses based around Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power.2017 was a good year for Wärtsilä as the company’s order intake increased 15 pct to EUR 5.64 billion and net sales were up by 3 pct to EUR 4.92 billion. “The year 2017 developed according to our expectations. Increased power plant deliveries supported some growth in net sales, while profitability was in line with the previous year, due in part to a positive business mix in the fourth quarter. The favourable order trends seen throughout the year continued in the fourth quarter, providing us with a solid basis from which we can develop our business,” Eskola said.“Looking ahead, I believe that developing smart technology and integrating new business models into our offering will be at the core of our long-term value creation, both for our shareholders and society at large. In terms of 2018, our demand outlook has improved somewhat. We continue to see growth opportunities in our service business, based on our portfolio of long-term agreements and the increasing technological sophistication of our installed base. The demand for our energy solutions is anticipated to be at a good level, supported by a healthy project pipeline and favourable market trends. Market conditions are expected to improve in the marine industry, thus supporting a solid demand outlook.”World Maritime News Staff read more
Did you know the two people who developed the cure for Ebola are Canadian?Jennifer Diakiw with the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation said a lot of people didn’t, until Dr. Gary Kobinger and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu won a Manning Innovation Award last year.“We think that it’s important for them to apply for these awards, because it really shines a light, not just on them as individuals, but on Canadian innovation and Canadian innovators,” she said.Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 Manning Innovation Awards until January 15. read more
APTN National NewsDespite the empty halls of Parliament there’s been a development in the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian government.A Conservative MP’s private members bill to repeal outdated portions of the Indian Act is now law.APTN’s Annette Francis has the story.