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  • February’s Variable Rains

    first_imgOverly wet weather in Georgia’s major row crop regions during February 2016 has farmers worried that soggy soil may delay corn and peanut planting or cause fungal diseases to be a major issue later this spring. Over the course of February, swaths of northwest and southeast Georgia received as much as three or four inches more rainfall than normal, leaving some farm fields that have reached the planting milestone of 55 degrees Fahrenheit too wet to plant. Other parts of the state, especially the central region, saw rainfall totals between two and three inches below normal amounts. Fruit growers continue to be concerned about the low number of chill hours that have occurred this winter, due mainly to the extremely warm temperatures in December 2015. Low chill hours reduce fruit set and lengthen the harvest season, leading to increased labor costs needed to harvest the orchards more than once. Temperatures during February varied across the state but were slightly above normal over the bulk of the state. In Atlanta, Georgia, the monthly average temperature was 48.5 F, 1.3 degrees above normal; in Athens, Georgia, it was 47.6 F, 0.4 degrees above normal; in Columbus, Georgia, it was 51.3 F, 0.2 degrees above normal; in Macon, Georgia, it was 50.6 F, 0.6 degrees above normal; in Savannah, Georgia, it was 53.7 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Brunswick, Georgia, it was 54.3 F, 0.2 degrees below normal; in Alma, Georgia, it was 53.5 F, 0.7 degrees below normal; in Augusta, Georgia, it was 49.8 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Albany, Georgia, it was 53.1 F, 0.7 degrees above normal; in Rome, Georgia, it was 46.1 F, 0 degrees below normal; and in Valdosta, Georgia, it was 54.8 F, 0.6 degrees above normal. Atlanta set a record high of 76 F on Feb. 2, beating the old record of 74 F set in 2014. Savannah and Augusta tied their record highs on the same date. Alma set a record high of 68 F on Feb. 3, surpassing the old record of 66 F set in 1974. Augusta also set a record for high nighttime low on Feb. 3, reaching a low of only 62 F and beating the old record of 60 F set in 1932. The normal low there is 34 F. Most of Georgia was above normal as far as precipitation in February, except for a streak of dry conditions across the center of the state from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. The highest monthly total precipitation recorded by a National Weather Service station was 7.39 inches in Atlanta, 2.72 inches above normal. The lowest monthly total was recorded in Macon at 3.21 inches, 1.15 inches below normal. Athens received 4.49 inches, 0.01 inches above normal; Columbus received 4.23 inches, 0.21 inches below normal; Augusta received 3.76 inches, 0.16 inches below normal; Savannah received 3.28 inches, 0.49 inches above normal; Alma received 4.66 inches, 0.86 inches above normal; Brunswick received 3.99 inches, 0.52 inches above normal; Rome received 5.64 inches, 0.77 inches above normal; Valdosta received 4.97 inches, 0.81 inches above normal; and Albany received 6.65 inches, 2.49 inches above normal. Atlanta, Athens, Macon and Rome all reported a trace of snowfall on Feb. 9 and 10. The highest single-day rainfall recorded by a Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network volunteer was 5.42 inches west of Albany in Dougherty County on Feb. 24, followed by 4.75 inches recorded north of Cochran, Georgia, in Fulton County on Feb. 4. The highest monthly total rainfall was 9.34 inches, recorded by the Albany observer listed above, followed by 9.02 inches near Dillard, Georgia, in Rabun County in northeast Georgia. The Dillard observer also recorded the highest snowfall for the month – a total of 5.2 inches. Severe weather was reported on four days during February. Observers witnessed a tornado at Fort Stewart, Georgia, near Hinesville in Liberty County on Feb. 3. Numerous vehicles were destroyed, and 40 to 50 people were displaced from housing due to the tornado. Another storm outbreak brought high winds to much of Georgia on Feb. 15. No tornadoes were observed in the state, but several were seen nearby in southeast Alabama. Witnesses reported seeing several tornadoes on Feb. 23, including one near Blakely, Georgia, in Early County, an EF1 in Terrell County, plus other sightings in Lee County and in Whigham, Georgia, in Grady County. The tail end of that outbreak hit the far northeast corner of Georgia on Feb. 24 as the system moved to the east. Lightning associated with the severe storms early in the morning of Feb. 24caused a barn fire in Bishop, Georgia, in Oconee County. Fourteen Clydesdale horses were safely removed from the barn before it burned to the ground.The outlook for March and spring shows a continuation of El Nino-like rainfall conditions, especially in south Georgia. The first two weeks of March are expected to be warmer than normal, with a return to average conditions later in the month. Longer-term spring temperatures do not show a clear trend. El Nino appears to have passed its peak and will be dying away over the next few months. After El Nino disappears, a swing to neutral, then to La Nina is expected by late summer, which will increase the chance of dry conditions later in the growing season. The Atlantic hurricane season is also expected to be more active than usual in the absence of El Nino. For more information, please see the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate or visit our new webpage at gaclimate.org.last_img read more

  • Tribunal rejects Lloyds bid to sack manager from £100bn mandate

    first_imgA spokesman for Scottish Widows said: “We are disappointed with the decision of the arbitration tribunal, and will look to discuss its outcome with Standard Life Aberdeen. Our strategy remains unchanged, which is to do the right thing for customers. Lloyds Banking Group has failed in an attempt to sack Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) from a £100bn (€117bn) mandate for its insurance subsidiary Scottish Widows, following a tribunal ruling.It means the planned transferral of assets to BlackRock and Schroders has been delayed while the two parties decide how to conclude the contracts.Lloyds announced its decision to shift the mandate away from SLA a year ago, after deciding that the 2017 merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life had meant the money was being run by a direct competitor.SLA disputed the decision and took the case to a tribunal, which this week ruled that Lloyds was “not entitled to give notice” on the relevant investment management agreements.  “We will discuss starting the process of an orderly transfer of assets to our new partners BlackRock and Schroders. We will continue to work closely with Standard Life Aberdeen to ensure there is no disruption to performance or service.”SLA said it was “carefully considering the terms of the decision and appropriate next steps” but would continue to run the assets in the meantime.Keith Skeoch, chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, said: “Now that the arbitration panel has ruled in our favour, we will carefully consider our next steps, working constructively with LBG to bring the matter to resolution.”Scottish Widows had already appointed BlackRock to run a £30bn slice of the mandate in October, to be allocated across a range of index funds.Schroders was granted the remaining £80bn as part of a strategic partnership with Scottish Widows to set up a wealth management and financial planning business.last_img read more

  • UPDATE: LAPD, DPS hold open forum for students

    first_imgStudents, alumni, faculty and community members voiced their concerns at an emotional open forum between the Dept. of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday evening in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom, which was filled to capacity.The ballroom reached capacity at 750 students and an additional 200 students were turned away at the door.The forum was organized in response to events at an off-campus student graduation party on 23rd and Hoover streets early Saturday morning where six students were arrested by more than 79 LAPD officers.Students participated in a campus sit-in Monday at Tommy Trojan from noon to 4 p.m. to protest against the excessive force used by more than 79 LAPD officers in response to the noise complaint.The forum was moderated by Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law Jody Armour. Panelists included  Capt. Paul Snell of the LAPD Southwest Division, Inspector General Alex Bustamante, Cmdr. Bill Scott of LAPD, Chief John Thomas of DPS, Commanding Officer of Operations South Bureau Bob Green and USC Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson participated in the discussion.Rikiesha Pierce, a senior majoring in sociology, was one of the key organizers and was the first to speak at the event. After she published an article on racial profiling in the community, Pierce was contacted by Thomas and Snell, who collaborated with her to hold the forum.“When students are being humiliated by their community law enforcement, there is a fundamental problem there and, even deeper, no one said nothing,” Pierce said. “This meeting was an attempt at reconciliation and at collaboration.”The event opened with the presentation of a compilation of videos recorded by students at the scene of the incident. Video clips showed students being handcuffed by police and even one female student crying out in pain as she was handcuffed on the ground.“That was a very sobering video,” Jackson said. “It really brings focus to this discussion and helps, for those of us who weren’t there, visualize what occurred and how our students were put into a very vulnerable position.”The host of the party Nate Howard, a senior majoring in communication who was arrested Saturday morning, began to cry as he emphasized that it is up to the millennial generation to work together and change the current situation. He received a standing ovation after stressing the need for unity to correct the flaws of law enforcement.“I have a voice and I spoke it. It’s up to our generation,” Howard said. “We have to move on for something bigger.”Armour asked both DPS and LAPD officers and representatives questions about issues regarding racial profiling and the social consequences of race-based judgements. LAPD responded saying that police placed a distress call because they believed their safety was in danger.“We do not believe at this point that there were any indications that this was race based,” Snell said. “What I would like focus on now is how we can move forward. We do not want this to happen again.”The majority of audience members rose their hands when Scott asked if they believed the response from LAPD was race-based.When asked about the support the students who were arrested can expect to receive from the university, Thomas said that he is in dialogue with the students and their parents to make sure that they are cared for and that they will not have to pay bail. Jackson responded that he is not in favor of the current charges being pressed against the students.“The key for us right now with respect to the students is to give them as much support as we possibly can and to advocate, from my perspective, that these charges should be dropped,” Jackson said.Updated on May 8th at 6:30 P.M.President C. L. Max Nikias released a statement Wednesday evening responding to the events at the party. He said he has been updated by his senior staff since early after the incident.“I had complete confidence in my leaders as they fully briefed me in advance on their discussions with student leaders and the plan for last night’s forum,” Nikias said in a statement. “I was pleased that there was an opportunity for an open dialogue and for people to express concerns.”Nikias said that he remains optimistic about the future relations between the university and its students.“We are confident we will move ahead from this issue in an even more productive and positive,” Nikias said.At the forum, students and the parents of the arrested students proceeded to spend an hour giving testimonies of their experiences during the night of the incident. They expressed love for their university but also stated the desire for DPS and LAPD to actively create the open discussion they talked about. Students also yelled out from the crowd asking where President Nikias was during this open forum.Evan Vujovich, a senior majoring in music industry who lives in the house across the street that hosted a party at the same time, said that the police did not address his party first, which refuted previous reports.“Our party ended but we were not asked to disperse, we were not asked to go home, we were not pushed out of our party that was also peaceful,” Vujovich said. “Our party was equally loud, had at least as many people and our party wasn’t even registered with DPS.”Jason Sneed, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law and one of the students who was arrested, addressed the social media movement that helped gather interest in the event. The hashtag #USChangeMovement was a trending topic in the Los Angeles area on Twitter while the forum was still in progress.“We’re here today based off of facebook, emails and Twitter,” Sneed said. “If we can create a movement based on social media, how much more powerful can we be?”Photos by Shoko Oda Video from the scene, courtesy of USC Black Student Assembly.last_img read more

  • College Football Playoff selection show 2019: Date, time, how to watch final CFP rankings release

    first_imgWith championship week in college football finally here, it’s almost time to learn of the pairings for the College Football Playoff and entire upcoming bowl season.The regular season has provided plenty of drama, culminating with 10 conference championship games before Sunday’s bowl selection show. A win by the Bulldogs would guarantee safe passage to the Playoff. The question then is whether the committee prefers one-loss LSU over the Big 12 or Pac-12 champion.Who are the top four CFP teams after Week 14?RankingTeamRecord1.Ohio State12-02.LSU12-03.Clemson12-04.Georgia11-1Who are the first two teams out of the CFP after Week 14?RankingTeamRecord5.Utah11-16.Oklahoma11-1When is the College Football Playoff?The College Football Playoff semifinals will be on Saturday, Dec. 28 with the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl and the championship game will be on Monday, Jan. 13. DateBowlMatchupTime (TV channel)Dec. 28Peach BowlTBD vs. TBD4 p.m. ET (ABC)Dec. 28Fiesta BowlTBD vs. TBD8 p.m. ET (ABC)Jan. 13National championshipTBD vs. TBD8 p.m. ET (ABC)College Football Playoff committee membersHere is a look at the members of the CFP committee in 2019:  MEMBERSTITLERob Mullens, ChairOregon athletic directorGary BartaIowa athletic directorFrank BeamerFormer Virginia Tech coachPaola BolvinArizona State professorJoe CastiglioneOklahoma athletic directorKen HatfieldFormer Clemson, Rice, Arkansas coachChris HowardRobert Morris University presidentRonnie LottFormer USC All-AmericanTerry MohajirArkansas State athletic directorRay OdiernoFormer U.S. Army Chief of StaffR.C. SlocumFormer Texas A&M coachTodd StansburyGeorgia Tech athletic directorScott StricklinFlorida athletic director The matchups that everyone will be talking about, of course, are the College Football Playoff games. This year’s Playoff games are the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl in the semifinals and the championship game, which will be hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.MORE: Who should be No. 1: LSU or Ohio State?Sunday’s College Football Playoff bowl selection show will reveal the details about the upcoming games and schedule for bowl season.Here’s a guide to everything to need to follow along with the College Football Playoff selection show, including start time, TV channel and more for the final CFP ranking reveal and complete 2019-20 bowl schedule. When is the College Football Playoff selection show?Date: Sunday, Dec. 8Time: Noon ETThe College Football Playoff selection show will begin at noon ET on Sunday and will run for four hours. The show will announce the unveiling of the four Playoff teams at 12:15 p.m. ET. Each of the New Year’s Six bowl game pairings will be revealed at 3 p.m. ET, followed by the remainder of the entire bowl slate.CFP selection show channel, how to watchTV channel: ESPNLive stream: WatchESPNThe final unveiling of the Playoff rankings will take place on ESPN and can be live-streamed on WatchESPN.The “College GameDay” crew of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Jesse Palmer and Joey Galloway will reveal the committee’s decision. CFP committee chairman Rob Mullens will then join the show to discuss the rankings.MORE: Complete 2019-20 bowl projectionsCollege Football Playoff rankings 2019No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Clemson are in win-and-in situations entering conference championship weekend. No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Oklahoma also need to take care of business in their respective title games in the hope of leap-frogging No. 4 Georgia should it lose to LSU in the SEC championship game.last_img read more