State agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota

first_imgState agencies challenge utility’s plan to purchase gas-fired power plant in Minnesota FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Minneapolis Star Tribune:Xcel Energy’s proposed $650 million purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Mankato has run into strong opposition from two state agencies concerned about its potential impact on ratepayers.Minneapolis-based Xcel in November announced its intent to buy the large power plant from Atlanta-based Southern Power. Xcel currently buys electricity from the Mankato plant on a long-term contract. The company says owning the facility would entail significant savings for ratepayers and would help preserve electric grid reliability.But the Minnesota Department of Commerce concluded that Xcel’s proposed ownership of the Mankato plant “is unlikely to create substantial savings,” according to a recent regulatory filing. “Overall, Xcel has not shown need or any net benefits to ratepayers for Xcel’s proposed (gas plant) purchase.” Meanwhile, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office slammed the deal in a recent regulatory filing, saying Xcel “structured the proposed acquisition in an opaque backroom deal and in the absence of any competition, transparency or meaningful need for alternative analysis.”The two state offices represent the public before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is likely to decide next month on the Mankato deal.Xcel, Minnesota’s largest electric utility, rejects criticisms from both agencies, noting in a statement to the Star Tribune that it has followed the “appropriate process” with its acquisition proposal. Xcel said the Mankato deal is vital for system stability as the company adds variable solar and wind energy while closing its coal-fired power plants, a primary source of constant power. “The purchase of the Mankato Energy Center will help pave the way to exit the use of coal in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than planned,” Xcel said in the statement. The company declined to make an executive available for comment.In a PUC filing, the Commerce Department questioned whether the Mankato purchase is needed to facilitate Xcel’s early exit from coal.More: Regulators rip Xcel’s proposed $650 million deal for Mankato power plantlast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgAs part of the agreement approved by the union Thursday night, players agreed not to challenge giving up their salaries if no games are played, except for $170 million payment management will advance in two stages. Player salary this year is expected to be in the $4 billion range.Management was given the right to cut the amateur draft in both 2020 and 2021, and to freeze the values of signing bonus money at 2019 levels.Details were divulged to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.Teams are set to approve the roughly 17-page agreement Friday, the person said.NCAA-REVENUE DISTRIBUTION March 27, 2020 Bartholomay died Wednesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to his daughter, Jamie.OBIT-GLOBETROTTERS-NEALHarlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77UNDATED (AP) — Iconic Harlem Globetrotters player Fred “Curly” Neal has died at 77, according to the team.The dribbling wizard played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism. He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008. The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-VANDERBILLT-NESMITHNesmith leaving CommodoresNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt guard Aaron Nesmith is forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the NBA draft.Nesmith was one of the nation’s most prolific scorers and 3-point shooters before a right foot injury caused him to miss more than half the season. He averaged 23 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals for the Commodores this past season. The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic.It will be the first time since 1946 that the race won’t be run on Memorial Day weekend.IndyCar initially said it would resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indianapolis. That race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard. The Indy 500 will be moved to Aug. 23.In other outbreak-related developments:— The company that manufactures uniforms for Major League Baseball has suspended production on jerseys and is instead using the polyester mesh fabric to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Fanatics founder and executive chairman was watching TV last week when he was struck by the idea to turn the 360,000-square foot facility in Easton, Pennsylvania, into a factory for the COVID-19 virus fight. St. Luke’s Hospital in nearby Bethlehem reached out to Fanatics late last week about the possibility of the company manufacturing masks. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSIndy 500 moved to AugustUNDATED (AP) — The Brickyard will be silent Memorial Day weekend. Update on the latest sports — Former President Barack Obama was among more than 50,000 viewers who logged onto a coronavirus discussion between Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. When Curry asked when it might be time to start thinking about sports again, Fauci responded, “when the country as a whole has turned that corner,” and the curve that shows how the virus is still spreading nationally starts coming down.— The Colorado Avalanche say one of their players has recovered after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player was at home in isolation since the symptoms first appeared. The team says anyone who was known to have had close contact with the player has been notified. The Avs issued a statement saying they continue to work in conjunction with their medical staff and public health officials to do everything they can to help the Avalanche community remain safe and healthy during this time.— NHL stars Alex Ovechkin (oh-VECH’-kin) and Sidney Crosby think the league should go directly to the playoffs once it resumes play. The two rival Metropolitan Division captains shared their views Thursday. Crosby says he understands the need to try to play as many games as possible. But he says he wouldn’t mind beginning with the playoffs. Ovechkin had the same idea. There is no timetable for when play will resume. It has not been determined whether the league will complete the regular season.— The WNBA has announced its draft will be a virtual event this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The draft will be held on April 17 as originally scheduled but will be broadcast without players, fans or media in attendance. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says the league is still looking at different scenarios for the start of the regular season but notes it could begin before the NBA resumes play.— Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Arteta told the Arsenal website that he is “completely fine” and that he only felt ill for a few days. He said he had three or four days that were a little bit difficult, with a bit of a temperature, a dry cough and some discomfort in my chest.” Arteta became the first Premier League figure to test positive for the coronavirus on March 12. The league was then suspended the next day. — Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has shifted from making visors for helmets to medical visors for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Bauer faced the possibility of closing its manufacturing plant in Blainville, Quebec, when hockey came to a halt amid the global pandemic. But engineers there instead brainstormed the idea of producing medical shields to help protect people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.— A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press that top NBA executives are having their base salaries reduced by 20% for the foreseeable future. The reductions affect the roughly 100 highest-earning executives, as the NBA joins the NHL and NASCAR in cutting salaries while competitions are on hold because of the coronavirus. The cuts are effective immediately and affect NBA employees both inside the league headquarters in New York and in global offices.— Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be in quarantine for two weeks. Castellano tested positive as part of a physical that officials at Gulfstream Park mandated as a prerequisite before being cleared to ride in Saturday’s Florida Derby. Castellano says that he has not had “known contact with anyone that has tested positive.” Castellano last rode on March 15, when he had two mounts at Gulfstream.— New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he and his wife, Brittany, are donating $5 million to help Louisiana businesses and communities contend with challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Brees posted his pledge on a social media account and says the money will help several restaurants in which he has an ownership stake as well as a major hospital chain and charities that deliver meals to people in need.— The Green Bay Packers have extended the closure of Lambeau Field through at least April 24 to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a “safer at home” order through that date. Packers officials said the closure would continue until that order expires or until a superseding order is issued. Packers officials say Lambeau Field and Titletown will only have essential personnel in place for non-public operations of the facilities. Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 millionUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June. That is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.The NCAA says $50 million will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will help pay the rest.March Madness is among the biggest revenue producers for the NCAA and its schools. It was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.The NCAA pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue last year, including $867.5 million from the television and marketing rights for the Division I men’s basketball tournament. MLB-OBIT-WYNNToy Cannon diesUNDATED (AP) — Jimmy Wynn, the diminutive slugger whose monster shots in the 1960s and ’70s earned him the popular nickname “The Toy Cannon,” has died at 78.The Astros say the three-time All-Star outfielder died Thursday in Houston, but the team did not provide further details.The 5-foot-9 Wynn hit more than 30 homers twice with Houston, including a career-high 37 in 1967 at the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. Wynn left the team as the franchise leader in hits, home runs, RBIs and walks. Overall, he finished with 291 homers with 964 RBIs and 225 stolen bases in his career. MLB-OBIT-BARTHOLOMAYBill Bartholomay, who moved Braves to Atlanta, dies at 91ATLANTA (AP) — Former Braves owner Bill Bartholomay has died at 91.Bartholomay moved the franchise from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, making it the first Major League Baseball team in the South. He headed the group that sold the Braves to Ted Turner in 1976 but retained a partial interest and remained as the team’s chairman until November 2003, when he assumed an emeritus role.Braves Hall of Famer Hank Aaron said on his Twitter account that Bartholomay “was the greatest owner I ever had the pleasure to play for.” Associated Press — The International Olympic Committee says it is “not aware of any link” between an Olympic boxing tournament it oversaw in London this month and positive coronavirus tests for people who were there. The Turkish boxing federation says a boxer and a trainer now have the virus after attending the Olympic qualifying tournament, which was stopped on March 16 after three of the scheduled 11 days. The Turkish team says the two men are being treated in a hospital and two others with symptoms are awaiting test results.— Three professional baseball players in Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus but Japanese baseball officials insist that won’t impact plans to start the season next month. Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami and two teammates have become the first professional baseball players in Japan to test positive. Japan professional baseball had earlier postponed the start of its regular season amid the pandemic and was aiming for an April 24 start.MLB-SERVICE TIMEPlayers, management agree to preserve service timeUNDATED (AP) — Players have agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball that would preserve service time in the event this season is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the two sides have left open details of what a configured schedule would look like. Neal was a crowd favorite with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and ability to dribble circles around would-be defenders.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Tapirs in Corriverton becoming extinct

first_imgBy Andrew CarmichaelThe bordering town of Corriverton is known for the Tapir vehicle. The vehicles which were locally made were mostly used as a means of public transportation. Today, the signature vehicle of Corriverton is fast becoming extinct.Passengers who once craved to travel in the wagon-typed vehicles, are now shunning them. According to some residents of that town, cars are more comfortable. “If you have a child, dey want de child sit on you lap an you still have to pay for the child,” a 29-year-old female told this publication.She said as a result of a bad experience, she will not be going into Tapirs again. “Tapir make me think twice about wearing a short dress or skirt…”With the introduction of hire cars in Corriverton, Suschilla (only name given) says she is able to travel alone.The vehicles were locally manufactured at Associated Industries Limited (AINLIM) in Georgetown during the 1970s and later on, parts were fabricated by fabricators in Corriverton.Some tapirs are now being convertedAccording to one of AINLIM former assemblers, Patrick D’ Andrea, 66, who now resides in Canada, the vehicles were designed by the British for basic transportation in the 1970s.He said AILIM stopped production because they were not allowed to import parts into the country under the Burnham Administration. “When the first Tapir was completed, it was a happy and sad day because on testing, the vehicle driver died; Terry Mark, his death was of no fault of the Tapir but his own. He applied more speed than the vehicle could handle… it toppled causing his death.”Meanwhile, some Tapir owners explained that the vehicles were relatively cheap during the 1980s.Cars are pushing the Tapirs out of business at the parkOwners of Tapirs in order to stay in the transportation business were forced to equip themselves with modern vehicles.One operator, Ganesh “Bama” Bola of Crabwood Creek, who operated a Tapir for 22 years, said in recent years operators were forced to modernise those vehicles, by tinting the windows and windshield, raising the back of the vehicle and having defining music. While passengers craved for these changes, it made their ride more strenuous as they were being forced to bend more forward to see where they were going.One of the first assemblers of the Tapir in Guyana, Partick D’AndreaThe once popular Tapirs started to lose popularity around 2007, forcing some operators out of business. Others realised they had to modernise in order to stay in business.Tapirs were only used on the Upper Corentyne and transported passengers between Number 50 Village and Molson Creek between 1981 and 2006. When hire cars started to be introduced into the system, they slowly took over the transportation industry in Corriverton.Another Tapir owner, Sunil Dhanie of Crabwood Creek, said he can no longer use that vehicle to transport passengers. According to the 40-year-old, he has been in the business since 1984. “I just using it for private since dem passengers refuse to travel in the Tapir.” He now operates a car.In Corriverton, while a few Tapirs still operate, today passengers can be seen saying no to Tapir operators and at the same time trying to get a car to stop for them.Dayram “Star Black” Kawlasar, who owned three Tapirs, says adults started to refuse to travel in the Tapirs by 2007. However today he still operates two but only to transport children to and from school.The first car to operate as a public means of transportation was HB 6434. According to that operator, persons started showing a preference for his car. “The passengers demand grew and other car owners followed.”Today, Corriverton’s roads looks more like the other towns in Guyana apart from the periodic passing of a ‘Corrriverton Tapir’.last_img read more

Kurtenbach: Three takeaways from the Raiders’ joint practices with the Rams

first_imgNAPA — NFL training camps are a set-up.When you watch a team practice against itself day after day — in limited reps and without the benefit of being able to review the ever-vaunted tape — it becomes difficult to contextualize what you are seeing. Is that a good defensive line or just a bad offensive line? The quarterback might have missed the throw, but was the coverage any good? I think it was. I dunno. These guys move really fast.In the end, it’s hard for opinions to not bubble up off of …last_img

Small boy with big dreams

first_imgA South African recipe and games book for children, written by nine-year-old Josh Thirion, has won a prestigious international cookbook award. (Images: Random House)MEDIA CONTACTS • Kim Taylor  Publicist  +27 21 460 5400RELATED ARTICLES • SAAF: working in war and peace • Getting to know a different SA • Cultural group writes own history • Kirstenbosch celebrated in print Wilma den HartighA South African recipe and games book for children, written by nine-year-old Josh Thirion, has won a prestigious international cookbook award. Cook with Josh is the winner of the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best in the World in the children’s category. These awards are considered the Oscars of the food and wine industry, and Josh’s book was selected from thousands of books worldwide.Through his book, Josh hopes to inspire other children to get into the kitchen and start cooking, and also to encourage future generations of South African MasterChefs. The book contains 48 easy step-by-step recipes, and, using his talent for drawing, Josh has created activities such as colouring-in, mazes, word games, crossword puzzles, spot-the-difference and connect-the-dots.It includes ideas for drinks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and treats, from classic peanut butter smoothies, beef stew and pizza monsters, to old-fashioned favourites such as coconut fudge, malva pudding and rainbow popcorn.Josh’s mom, Lynn Thirion, says he never wrote the book to be published. His only intention was to sell it at the Mzansi Magic Market Day, a national competition to encourage children to develop entrepreneurial skills.The first time he entered the competition, when he was just seven, he made toys from recycled materials, but by the following year the entire family was hooked on MasterChef, a BBC television cookery game show.Thirion says that Josh’s dad noticed his comic strip recipes, and encouraged him to develop the idea for the market day. He made 30 copies of the handmade recipe book to sell on the day, and they were so popular that his business idea won out of more than 400 stalls.It was after this success at the market day that Random House publishers approached the Thirions to take the idea further. “One idea led to the next and I decided to do a cookbook with a difference, an activity cookbook,” Josh says.Inspired by MasterChefHis mom says he comes from a creative family – all the Thirions enjoy painting and she noticed Josh’s artistic talent at an early age. The family has also always enjoyed cooking together, and she thinks this, too, probably made a lasting impression on her son.“His talent for drawing was the first thing we noticed. His interest in cooking only came later,” she says, but adds that he seemed to be interested in making food even when he was very young. “We love to camp and one year on a camping trip he was making his own peanut butter and honey sandwiches,” she says.Cook with Josh combines Josh’s love for drawing and interest in cooking, as well as his trademark comic strip recipes such as orange pudding and dark chocolate and berry flapjacks. “My inspiration for cooking started with MasterChef,” Josh says. “I watch all the programmes. I also enjoy Junior MasterChef; I wish I could cook like those kids.”Thirion says her son has big dreams of becoming a celebrity television chef, and he is already very critical of their cooking. “When we have dinner around the table at home he judges the food like the MasterChef judges, on aspects like taste, texture and appearance.”Since winning the award he’s been on international food networks, but she wants him to enjoy being a child. “My advice to him is to keep his feet on the ground.”last_img read more

EU Report Warns of “Digital Dark Age” if Digitization of Cultural Heritage Left to Private Sector

first_imgThe European Union says its member states must do more to digitize Europe’s cultural heritage and not simply leave that work to the private sector. To do otherwise, suggests a recently commissioned report, could steer Europe away from a digital Renaissance and “into a digital dark age.” The report by the “Comité des Sages” was delivered to the European Commission earlier this week and calls for continued development of Europeana, the portal to Europe’s digital libraries, as well as for efforts to expand access to public domain material. EU member states must ensure that all material that’s digitized with public funding is available online and that all public domain masterpieces are available via Europeana by 2016. Works that are still covered by copyright but are no longer distributed commercially need to be brought online as well, and if the rights holders do not do so, cultural institutions must have the opportunity to digitize the material and make it available to the public.“We are of the opinion that the public sector has the primary responsibility for making our cultural heritage accessible and preserving it for future generations,” the report argues. “This responsibility for and control over Europe’s heritage cannot be left to one or a few market players, although we strongly encourage the idea of bringing more private investments and companies into the digitisation arena through a fair and balanced partnership.”That’s an oblique reference to Google, whose efforts to digitize the world’s books have caused some concerns in Europe over copyright issues and licensing agreements. The report notes that Google has digitized about 15 million of the world’s 130 million unique books and has entered into exclusivity agreements with some institutions. The report urges agreements of this sort between the private sector and public cultural institutions to be made public, with the preferential use for the digitized material to be kept to a maximum of seven years.The report does recognize the importance of these private efforts and says that EU member states need to find a way to match private investment and build partnerships with private companies. But as the report notes, “Can Europe afford to be inactive and wait, or leave it to one or more private players to digitise our common cultural heritage? Our answer is a resounding ‘no’.”Photo credits: Trinity College Library via Plants Need Water Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img audrey watters 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#E-Books#news#web last_img read more