The Government, in an effort to reduce schools’ dependency on the importation of fossil fuels to create energy, will spend approximately $120 million on the implementation of projects in schools under the Solar Systems Project.Details have been outlined in the 2018/2019 Estimates of Expenditure, tabled in the House of Representatives on February 15.Statistics have shown that an estimated annual average of 20.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) were imported during the 2010-2015 period for use in the electricity, manufacturing and transportation sectors, with an average import value of US$1.9 billion. The Solar Systems Project aims to reduce this number through the consumption by schools.According to the Estimates, the National Education Trust Limited (NET) will be responsible for the implementation of the project, which will provide alternative energy, including solar, from photovoltaic systems to schools across the island in an effort to lessen the dependence on the Jamaica Public Service Company and reduce the current electricity bill at schools by 40 to 70 per cent.Some of the targets under the project include complete retrofitting, upgrade and repair to roofs with solar systems at schools that have already been assessed; the payment of fees to the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) of approximately $15 million, and the development of Business Case and Cabinet Approval to proceed to Transaction Stage of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).The NET, which is responsible for the implementation of the projects on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, is a Government of Jamaica company, which is limited by guarantee and is a registered charitable organisation that mobilises financial and quality resources for schools in Jamaica.
APTN National NewsThe trial of a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been pushed back to Sept. 14, according to an Ottawa court official.Bruce Carson, who was once an acting chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, was scheduled to stand trial Sept. 8 on a charge of influence peddling.It’s unclear why the date was changed. A call to the Crown’s office was not returned.Carson was charged following an APTN National News investigation into his lobbying activities on behalf of an Ottawa-based water filtration company that had a struck a side-deal with Carson’s fiancée, a former escort. The deal guaranteed the woman a large cut of filtration system sales to First Nation reserves suffering from water woes.Carson is also facing three charges of illegal lobbying and a charge of influence peddling from a separate RCMP investigation into his activities on behalf of the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) and the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC).Carson headed the CSEE which was given $15 million by the Harper government.Carson was deeply involved in helping promote Canada’s tar sands and developing a national energy strategy.Carson once brought an escort to a party at the prime minister’s residence on 24 Sussex Dr. The escort, who had been previously deported from the United States following a criminal conviction for involvement in a prostitution ring, struck up a conversation about underwear with Harper during the party. Harper reportedly firstname.lastname@example.org@APTNNews
Kent DriscollAPTN NewsIt is cheaper to fly to another country than it is to Nunavut.If you live in the territory, you’ve heard this lament, and it is true. A one-way fare from Ottawa to London, England tomorrow would cost $850. A flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit on the same day starts at $940.This has Nunavummiut worried, as they await the merger of the North’s two largest airlines, Canadian North and First Air.The federal government has approved the merger, provided the airlines follow 31 regulations and restrictions designed to maintain the status quo with Nunavut’s air travel.For the customers, that status quo was pretty expensive to begin with.“It is very expensive for me, as a single mother,” explained Jenny Ell of Iqaluit. “It’s very hard to try to leave with my children, because it’s so expensive. To leave from Ottawa to overseas, it’s cheaper to do that than from Ottawa to here, and that’s kinda not fair.”Both airlines are currently owned by Inuit corporations, one from Nunavik and another from Northwest Territories, that claim saving money on operating costs will make the airline more efficient.The 31 conditions attached to the merger are supposed to make sure prices don’t rise, but are all but guaranteed to eliminate seat sales and even the most basic of competition.Adam Arreak-Lightstone, an Iqaluit MLA, wonders if company savings will be passed on to the customers.“I share a lot of concerns like many Nunavummiut have expressed,” he told APTN News. “I understand there are many effencies when it comes to a merger, but on the other hand, I’m not completely convinced of the new airline passing on those effencies to the customer.”In Nunavut, every community is a fly-in community. To live in Nunavut is to be dependent on the airlines, whether waiting for cargo or hoping to travel.Kathy Hanson is concerned; she knows she has no choice.“I’m a little bit worried,” said the long-time Iqaluit resident. “Right nw it’s pretty costly to head out anywhere, in the North or in the South. Of course, living on an island, we have no choice but to fly out.The Competition Bureau of Canada called the merger a “monopoly” and recommended it be declined. The federal cabinet went ahead and approved it.Now, Nunavummiut are waiting for the other shoe to drop, and are wondering if these limits and rules keep airfare at the status email@example.com@KentDriscoll
Not only has Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder insisted he would not change the name of his NFL team, on Thursday the franchise formally appealed a ruling that stripped the team of trademark protection, the latest legal maneuver in the Redskins’ attempt to defend its name against those who consider it a racial slur.The team announced that it had filed its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and that it ”points out the many errors” in the decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.The office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board voted 2-1 on June 18 to cancel six uses of ”Redskins” trademarked from 1967 to 1990, saying the name is ”disparaging of Native Americans.””We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision,” Redskins lawyer Bob Raskopf said in the team’s statement.The team had previously said it would appeal the ruling and had two months to do so. The trademark protection remains in place while the matter makes its way through the courts, a process that could take years. A similar ruling by the trademark board in 1999 was overturned on a technicality in 2003. Native Americans have been challenging the trademark since 1992.The Redskins say they will ask the court to consider ”serious constitutional issues,” including whether the ruling penalizes the team’s right of free speech and whether the team has been unfairly deprived of ”valuable and long-held intellectual property rights.”The group of five Native Americans challenging the name is equally confident.”This effort is doomed to fail,” said Amanda Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff. ”But if they want to prolong this litigation, which has already gone on for 22 years, I guess they have that prerogative.”The Redskins have been under sustained pressure to defend the name over the last 18 months, with major political, church and sports figures joining the debate and saying it should be changed.Team owner Snyder has vowed never to change the name, calling it a ”badge of honor.””If people wouldn’t dare call a Native American a ‘redskin’ because they know it is offensive, how can an NFL football team have this name?” Blackhorse said. ”We know that time is on our side for a change in the team’s name, and we are confident we will win once again at this stage of the litigation.”
The lawyer representing Payal Tadvi’s family told the court that the circumstances of her death suggested it was a murder case.FacebookThe post-mortem report of Payal Tadvi, who allegedly ended her life after facing “extreme harassment” and casteist remarks, has revealed evidence of a ligature mark on her neck. Under ‘provisional cause of death’, the autopsy report stated ‘evidence of ligature mark over the neck.’A Mumbai court on Wednesday (May 29) sent all the three accused in the suicide case of postgraduate medical student doctor to two-day police custody as her family sought directions for the crime to be treated as a murder.The lawyer representing Tadvi’s family told the court that the circumstances of her death suggested it was a murder case.”From the circumstances of her death and bruise mark on her body, we can say that it must be a case of murder and not of suicide. Police must investigate this case in the lines of a murder investigation. Police should be given 14 days time for that,” said Nitin Satpute, counsel representing the deceased’s family as quoted by news agency ANI.Satpute alleged that the accused had taken her body to some other place and later it brought it to the hospital so there is a suspicion of tampering with the evidence.The case was being heard before magistrate RM Sadrani of a Mumbai sessions court.Seeking the maximum custody of 14 days, prosecutor Jay Singh Desai told the magistrate that the witnesses are under pressure.”The accused are superior to almost every witness in the case. Witnesses are afraid of the accused to give their statement. This case may create social unrest if not investigated properly. The police have to retrieve WhatsApp communication from the phones of the accused,” Desai argued.In defence, the lawyers representing the accused dismissed the charge of abetment of suicide and told the court that the three were not aware of Tadvi’s caste.Responding to the request of treating the case as a murder, accused Bhakti Mehre’s counsel Sandip Bali said, “As the intervener claimed that this is a murder case, I will emphasize that let all medical reports come in.”Mehre’s lawyer also contended that the abetment of suicide charge, saying that it is only based on the statement of Tadvi’s mother and is not supported by any other proof.Advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for accused Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal, rubbished the claims that the deceased was harassed on the basis of her social identity.”Accused were not aware that the deceased got admission under any quota so they did not know her caste,” he argued.The accused, Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehre and Hema Ahuja, were arrested for allegedly abetting the post-graduate medical student Dr Tadvi, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, to end her life at her hostel in BYL Nair Hospital on May 22.The hospital administration had formed an anti-ragging committee to probe the case.The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had suspended the three doctors, who on Monday, wrote to the association urging for a fair probe.
Listen This past spring, a slew of top administrators decided to leave or retire from the Houston Independent School District, including the chief of staff and deputy superintendent.News 88.7 obtained exit interviews with about a dozen of those former employees, who describe a culture of fear, “nasty politics,” and retaliation.The state conservator, Doris Delaney, who monitors Houston’s most troubled schools, interviewed half of the administrators and principals who’ve left between January and June 2018. Their tenure ranged from just under a year to over three decades.Their reasons for leaving? They cited a lack of trust, concern about the district’s future and instability and negativity from the school board. Some former employees made comments like “I pray, literally, the Board will be taken over” and “Will TEA please step in and take over.” 00:00 /00:57 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share HISD has been under pressure by the Texas Education Agency, or TEA, to improve chronically low-performing schools or face a potential state-appointed board of managers.More than half of the outgoing employees said that they were either unsure or would not recommend Houston ISD to prospective employees.“Just reading through these responses, the feeling is that people feel almost a sense of betrayal,” said Jon Taylor, who teaches political science at the University of St Thomas. Taylor said that the exit interviews reveal deep dysfunction.“They talk about things such as their voices not being heard, about toxicity of the administration, about the turnover of administration, particularly at the highest levels,” Taylor said.“There’s a gallows humor that’s in play, there’s a culture of fear, there’s a fear of not only losing their job, but of retaliation and demotion, a fear that you have a leadership group at the very top — the superintendent and the board — who are detached from the realities of the district.”The Houston Independent School District declined to comment on the exit interviews.
Kolkata: Two bikes collided with each other near Judicial Academy in New Town on Wednesday morning.One of the bikers identified as Sariful Shaikh, who is a delivery person of Swiggy, got serious head injuries and is admitted to a city hospital. The condition of the delivery person is stated to be serious. Locals told Shaikh was riding his bike at a high speed and eventually lost his control. Keeping in mind the extent of the damage, Bidhannagar Police is soon going to arrange a meeting with the food delivery agencies over the issue of rash driving by Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifedelivery persons. According to locals, Shaikh was coming from the Sapoorji area and was headed towards Narkelbagan. Near Judicial Academy, Shaikh failed to notice the speed breaker placed on the road. He crossed over the speed breaker at a high speed. Meanwhile, another bike was taking a U turn just a few meters ahead of him. As Shaikh was a high speed, he collided with the bike that came infront of him and fell on the road. The other biker also fell off the bike but suffered minor injuries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShaikh was immediately removed to a private hospital near New Town police station and was later shifted to another private hospital near Haldiram’s. In the evening, he was again shifted to another hospital at Mullick Bazar, specialised for neurological treatment. It is alleged that food dilvery apps such as the likes of Swiggy often takes action if a delivery person fails to deliver the food within a stipulated time. They also pay some amount of money as commission for faster delivery of food. To comply with the policy and make some extra amount, delivery persons are frequently seen flouting traffic norms that results in self-harm or harm of others. The delivery persons ride very fast to reach their destinations in fear of getting penalised. “We do not encourage anyone to flout traffic norms or ride fast. There is no provision of imposing penalties,” said a Swiggy official. According to the sources, in Wednesday’s accident Shaikh’s bike had no insurance and as a result, he will not get any compensation. Police sources said after the Swiggy authority was informed about the accident, they avoided taking any liability because Swiggy has no social security scheme for their delivery persons. To sort the matter, Bidhannagar Police will call the food delivery agencies and mention some guidelines that need to be followed strictly. The agencies will also be asked to keep a periodical check of the delivery persons’ bikes and the related vehicle documents. “We will sit with the food delivery agencies and their delivery persons to ensure there is no over-speeding and rash driving by them,” said Amit P Javalgi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquartes) of Bidhannagar Police.
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UP NEXT:UP NEXT: Click for Sound Click to playTap to play We pay for stories! Send your videos to firstname.lastname@example.orgHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Monday, December 10. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 22:54End of live reporting22:01M 6 Northbound closed due to roadworks during the night between J14 A34 (Stafford North) and J15 A500 Queensway (Stoke-On-Trent).Until 6:00 on 11th December. 21:19None of the night crews from the city’s main fire stations reported any evening incidents.20:41A500 Queensway Southbound closed due to roadworks during the night from A527 (Wolstanton Retail Park, Wolstanton) to A53 Etruria Road (Basford Roundabout, Etruria). Until 6:00 on 11th December. 20:22Officers searching former schoolPolice officers are searching for a man on the site of an abandoned Stoke-on-Trent School. Staffordshire Police, including the dog unit, are scouring the former St Peter’s School, in Queens Road, Penkhull, after receiving reports of a person on the site. No one has yet been found. 19:58Accident cleared on A50 Westbound at Uttoxeter Road (Creda Roundabout / Meir Heath / Blythe Bridge). The slip road from A521 Catchems Corner above the motorway was re-opened around 19:20. 19:56Police officers issue appeal after bike stolen from front garden (Image: pstonier)Police officers are appealing for witnesses after a folding bike was taken from a front garden before items on the cycle were scattered along a Staffordshire Moorlands town. Officers received reports a Raleigh folding bike had been taken from a garden in the Whitemore area, near Biddulph , at around midday on Sunday (December 9). Read more.19:23Vehicle owners told to keep keys safe after early morning theftDrivers are being told to make sure their keys are left in a safe place after a set were taken from a car in the early hours of this morning.Officers in Cheshire received reports that a car on Solly Crescent, Congleton, had been broken into this morning (December 10).PCSO Jessica Shore, of Cheshire Police, says it is believed a set of vehicle keys had been taken from the car, and hopes anyone with any information will come forward.Read more.19:00 A5272 Chell Street busy but moving at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square).18:46 Bucknall Road inbound busy but moving from A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights) to Hanley Town centre. 18:35 A50 Westbound entry slip road closed due to accident at Uttoxeter Road (Creda Roundabout / Meir Heath / Blythe Bridge). Traffic is coping well. The slip road from A521 Catchems Corner above the motorway is closed. 18:12Delays of up to 25 minutes on Virgin Trains West Coast between Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield due to trespass incident at Longport.18:10All lanes open and traffic returned to normal, broken down crane removed on M6 Southbound at J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). Lane one (of three) was closed due to a crane which is moving very slowly, traffic is able to pass in lanes two and three. All restrictions were lifted around 17:40.17:58All lanes open and traffic easing, accident cleared on A500 Southbound before M6 J16 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe).A lane was closed on approach to the M6 J16 interchange. All restrictions were lifted around 17:40.16:36Heavy traffic on A500 D Road Southbound around A527 Porthill Road (Porthill Bank). 16:36 Bucknall Road inbound busy but moving from A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights) to Hanley Town centre.16:27One lane closed and heavy traffic due to accident on A500 Southbound before M6 J16 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe). A lane is closed on approach to the M6 J16 interchange.16:03Heavy traffic on Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. Travel time is six minutes. 15:59Man treated by paramedics after rescuing pet budgie from flat fireA man had to be treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation after re-entering a burning flat to rescue a pet budgie.Firefighters from Alsager raced to Brook Villas in Talke Road, Alsager at 7.10pm yesterday (December 9) to reports of a small fire involving burnt food.When they arrived at the scene firefighters discovered a man had managed to escape from the sheltered housing block but re-entered the building to rescue the bird.Read more.15:37Usual congestion on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). Travel time is four minutes.15:37 Heavy traffic on A5272 Chell Street at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square). Travel time is five minutes. 15:24 Traffic returned to normal on B5051 Moorland Road at A5272 High Lane / A5272 Hanley Road / Bank Hall Road (Smallthorne Roundabout). 15:20A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brindley Ford Southbound busy but moving at A5272 High Lane roundabout.15:08Woman, 23, due in court after incident at city centre shopA 23-year-old woman is due to appear before Magistrates after Christmas following an incident at a city centre convenience store over the weekend.Natasha Woolley, of Madeley Street, Tunstall, has been charged with criminal damage to property over the value of £5,000 and failing to comply with a community protection notice.Read more.12:53A527 Porthill Road clear at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 10:10Queuing traffic on A50 Eastbound before A50 Ashbourne Road (McDonalds roundabout) McDonalds roundabout. In the roadworks area.Highways will be filled in a large pot hole that has appeared in the road. 09:44Accident on A50 Eastbound from A522 (Uttoxeter / Upper Tean) to B5030 Ashbourne Road (McDonalds roundabout). Traffic is coping well. In the roadworks area.Incident reported at around 09.10 and Police arrived at scene at around 09.20 to assist with traffic management. Near Uttoxeter09:16More on the James Brindley Way crash…Officers from Staffordshire Police were called to a report of a road traffic collision involving three vehicles on James Brindley Way, Stoke-on-Trent, at 7.44am this morning (10 December).A 30-year-old man has been taken to hospital with minor injuries.The road reopened at just before 9am.08:55 Queuing traffic on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 08:45A collision on the A51 near The Swan with Two Necks (Image: Tommy Booth)Tommy Booth has spotted this collision on the A51 near The Swan with Two Necks pub. Causing long delays in the area.
WASHINGTON — Discount airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has won permission from U.S. federal authorities for its disputed plan to expand flights to the U.S., fuelling the long-simmering battle between legacy airlines and low-cost carriers for transatlantic business.Norwegian Air Shuttle had fought for three years trying to secure permission for its Ireland-based subsidiary to expand transtlantic services.The decision was a defeat for several large U.S. airlines and their labour unions, who argued that Norwegian was getting around Norway’s labour and tax laws by operating new flights with a subsidiary based in Ireland.The Transportation Department said in a regulatory filing Friday that it approved a foreign air-carrier permit for the subsidiary, which is called Norwegian Air International.Regulators said they consulted legal experts in the State Department and Justice Department and found no grounds to reject the application.The decision upheld the Transportation Department’s preliminary approval of the permit in April.Norwegian Air Shuttle already flies between Europe and the U.S. It said the new service by the Irish affiliate would benefit consumers with lower fares and create jobs at U.S. destinations.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe AFL-CIO said it will ask Congress to reverse Friday’s decision. Monday, December 5, 2016 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Low-cost carrier clears hurdle in the war for market share on lucrative transatlantic routes
Thursday, June 28, 2018 Tags: Tanzania << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by TANZANIA — There’s never a shortage of videos of dumb people in the wild, and the latest one is certainly no exception.A couple on safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park were seen on camera trying to pet a lion through the window of their vehicle. The video, which has been viewed over 26,000 times, clearly shows a female arm reach out of the window in an attempt to pet the wild animal, which had been resting right below them.At first the lion paid no heed, but after a few seconds it bared its teeth at the passengers and roared. The male passenger in the vehicle quickly closed the window in response.Wildlife Sightings, who published the video, said that trying to touch a lion is “incredibly stupid and ignorant of the tourist that filmed the sighting.” According to The Sun, which had interviewed a South African safari ranger, the lion had the power to tear off a person’s arm or even pull the couple out of the window and kill them.More news: Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?This is just the latest incident involving tourists acting foolishly in the wild. Last month, a French couple and their young child were caught on camera trying to escape a pack of hungry cheetahs after they exited their car to snap pictures of the animals while at Safari Park Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands.The family got out of their vehicle on two separate occasions to take photographs. The first time, the cheetahs ignored them entirely. But the second time, the cheetahs are seen circling the family, after which the man runs back to the vehicle. The woman is seen picking up the child, trying to stare down an approaching cheetah, and swatting it away as if it’s nothing more than a harmless mosquito.Fortunately, the woman and child made it back to the car just in time.Park manager Niels de Wildt confirmed the authenticity of the video to Dutch radio station NOS Radio 1 News, and said, “These people have been incredibly lucky.” Share Tourist tries to pet a wild lion and what happens next comes as no surprise to anyone Travelweek Group
Share Canadians are falling for the Cayman Islands as June numbers soar Tags: Cayman Islands << Previous PostNext Post >> GRAND CAYMAN — The Cayman Islands is reporting its 12th consecutive month of growth from the Canadian market, with arrivals from Canada up 20.36% in June, according to the latest stats from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.Overall the Cayman Islands welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors between January and June 2018, an increase of 19.52% or 214,711 visitors when compared to the same period in 2017.Air arrivals were up 15.9% for the first half of the year, with an increase of 34,693 visitors. Cruise passenger arrivals accounted for 81% of the islands’ total visitation.The six-month performance comes on the heels of a record-breaking June for the destination, on the books as the best June ever for the Cayman Islands for stayover visitation and the 15th consecutive month of growth in arrivals.“I am very pleased that tourism performance in the Cayman Islands is registering consistent growth and continues to outpace projections,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’ns“By applying the right marketing strategies, vision and spirit of collaboration to drive performance, the Cayman Islands tourism industry has maintained impressive, oftentimes, double-digit increases for a sustained period.”He adds that preliminary estimates from the Department of Tourism indicate that between January and May 2018, visitor spending from cruise and stayover arrivals contributed CI$325 million to the national coffers, an increase of $45 million compared to the same period last year.Arrivals from the U.S. in June were up 13.89%.In January DOT launched its ‘Summer Only in Cayman’ promotion, which this year leveraged Cayman’s position as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean including the Kid’s Culinary Capital of the Caribbean promotion, to broaden the appeal for families.Soon the Cayman Islands will roll out its annual ‘Fall Only in Cayman’ campaign, with offers on everything from accommodations to immersive land and sea experiences. Friday, July 27, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group
01Aug Rep. LaFave: Railroad crossing project eases traffic congestion Categories: LaFave News,News Part of state’s promise to fix transportation systemState Rep. Beau LaFave today said a project is underway in Gladstone to install a signal at a railroad crossing on U.S. 2/U.S. 41/M-35 that will ease traffic congestion and make travel safer.LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said the project in Delta County is one of many under construction across the state as part of the Legislature’s commitment to fix and maintain Michigan’s transportation and underground water systems.“In the coming fiscal year, the Legislature is spending more money than ever before to repair roads and bridges and make travel smoother and safer for all Michigan residents and businesses,” LaFave said. “In this instance, the crossing signal means trucks and buses will no longer have to come to a stop at the crossing, which will allow traffic to move more smoothly.”LaFave said installing the signal will require some lane closures and traffic shifts from Delta Avenue east to M-35. The work should be completed in late August.“In addition to funding more repair and maintenance projects, the Legislature also is requiring stronger warranties to extend the life of the road or bridge being repaired,” LaFave said. “We want to ensure we are getting the highest quality work for every tax dollar people entrust to the Legislature.”#####
UK video-on-demand regulator ATVOD has named ITV executive Nicola Phillips as a director.Philips, currently head of legal, ITV brands, interactive, online and on-demand for ITV, will become a non-independent board member and director of the regulator.Phillips, who worked in the technology, media and telecommunications team at law firm Dentons before joining ITV in 2008, will take up her appointment at the beginning of November. She will replace Sophie Jones, who is temporarily stepping down from the ATVOD board while she is on maternity leave from Channel 4.“We are delighted that Nicola has agreed to join the Board. She offers a wealth of experience in the video on demand sector and will help to ensure that ATVOD fully understands the legal issues which impact on our work. Her experience of working on content, accessibility and child protection issues will also help us to ensure that users of on demand services enjoy the regulatory protection provided for in law,” said ATVOD chair Ruth Evans.“We would also like to express our thanks to Sophie Jones – who Nicola replaces – for her outstanding contribution to the development of ATVOD over the past two and a half years. We hope that she will return to the ATVOD board following her maternity leave.”
The BBC needs to respond to the fragmentation of audiences and the emergence of global competition by focusing on its online presence, developing “world-class creativity” and ensuring that its finances are stable, according to Bal Samra, the UK public broadcaster’s group commercial director.Bal Samra at The Future of BroadcastingSpeaking at Marketforce’s The Future of Broadcasting conference in London this morning, Samra said that the BBC faces “more and more competition for audience attention”. The BBC faces also global competition for audiences as well as for talent and programming.He said there was a gap between those who consume the BBC’s programming the most and those who consume the least, with divisions emerging between young and old, between demographics and between regions. Both young and old are going on social media and online more for content. Younger groups were gong online almost exclusively for news, he said.Samra said that traditional media organisations face other big challenges. While globalistion of media is leading to global consolidation, new talent is seeking audiences direct via online platforms, particularly YouTube.In this environment, said Samra, the BBC needs to focus on three things: to be part of the online world, to develop world class creativity, and to ensure financial stability.In terms of its presence in the online world, BBC iPlayer has built a huge audience, he said, adding that the inclusion of live content online would be crucial for the future. Adding personalization and encouraging participation is a key priority, by growing the active signed-in user base, he said.“This approach will help us build a deeper two way relationship with audiences,” he said.Samra said, that despite earlier criticism, BBC 3 was now an online success story. Taking this further, the BBC had to deliver news on mobile first, he said.In terms of talent, Samra said that the BBC had to better reflect the make-up of the UK and that it had to compete for world-class talent.Samra said that “the BBC also has to get most out of our finances”. The move of BBC Studios into the commercial side of the business is one example of a shift that will provide opportunities, he said.