Regions: Europe Southern Europe Italy GoldBet takeover strengthens Gamenet’s Italian portfolio Deal will significantly boost retail proposition, but expert is cautious of online impact Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter 24th July 2018 | By contenteditor Finance Topics: Finance Italian gaming group Gamenet today (Tuesday) announced a €265m (£240m/$310m) deal to acquire betting operator GoldBet in a transaction that one expert believes will allow the combined entity to become a “clear leader” in traditional betting products in the country.Gamenet will acquire 100% of GoldBet, which operates nearly 1,000 betting shops in Italy and generated earnings before interest and deductions of €40m in 2017. The combined service will offer approximately 1,700 betting points across the country, representing Italy’s largest retail network.“This transaction represents a major opportunity for the two companies and will allow us to exploit the synergies and knowhow of both companies,” GoldBet CEO Paola Bausano said.Gamenet chief executive Guglielmo Angelozzi added that the transaction would allow the company to expand its services in a number of verticals.The combined business will have a 21% share of the retail betting market and a 33% share of the virtual sector, with Regulus Partners’ Paul Leyland stating in an update that the deal will allow the merged entity to become a “clear leader in more traditional betting products and channels”.However, Leyland added a note of caution with regard to the internet proposition of the combined business, with GoldBet and Gamenet currently only occupying 3.8% and 3.1% of the country’s online market share respectively.“Online the combined entity’s total market share is only 7% overall and 11% in betting,” Leyland stated. “This makes it a credible No.4 in betting behind bet365, SKS365 and GVC, but still stuck in the mid-tier of a stubbornly fragmented Italian online market, with neither side bringing anything to break out of this, in our view.”The note added that overall growth in the country’s gaming sector is “being powered first and foremost by online”, notwithstanding the recently-introduced ban on gambling promotions and advertising.However, online still represents a relatively small proportion of Italy’s commercial gambling revenue, with approximately 20% of the market in comparison with 80% for machines.“Combinations with very high machine exposure and relatively limited domestic online capabilities still remain challenged, in our view,” Leyland added. “Conversely, it is telling that all of the top four online businesses in Italy – Stars, SKS365, bet365 and GVC – are online-led and none has material machine exposure.”At iGB Live! in Amsterdam last week, Ficom Leisure senior partner Christian Tirabassi warned that operators that do not have an established land-based presence in Italy are likely to endure a brutal impact as a result of the newly introduced legislation in the country.Leyland added that Goldbet has been “an impressive mover into Africa in recent years, especially Nigeria, under the Betin brand”, but added: “No mention of this is made in the press release and the EBITDA figures suggest only the Italian business is being acquired.”Picture Credit: Bert Kaufmann Email Address
Lasaco Assurance Plc (LASACO.ng) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Insurance sector has released it’s 2020 interim results for the half year.For more information about Lasaco Assurance Plc (LASACO.ng) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Lasaco Assurance Plc (LASACO.ng) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Lasaco Assurance Plc (LASACO.ng) 2020 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileLasaco Assurance Plc is a composite insurance and financial services company in Nigeria licensed to underwrite business in major sectors of the economy. This includes the heavy engineering, construction, banking and finance, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors. Lasaco Assurance Plc’s business portfolio includes leadership and a significant stake in key federal and state government insurance businesses, multinational and private companies. The company also offers life cover to high-tech, capital intensive and special risk sectors such as oil and gas and aerospace. Lasaco Assurance Plc has business interests in property development and management as well as shareholdings in numerous blue chip enterprises. The company’s head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Lasaco Assurance Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Barbara Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 I think Leroy Bell has a valid point when he states that the citizens have no say- so in the budget process. The first year Mayor Kilsheimer became mayor, he called for budget workshops to go over the budgets, line by line with his commissioners and staff. He allowed for public comment from anyone that wanted to speak about the budget. Obviously, there were citizens who disagreed with each other. I know I expressed ideas that I thought the city could save money on some of the city’s expenses. Others did also. I told the mayor I thought he was doing a good job, and that I appreciated his letting us citizens speak up and be a part of the budget process of the workshops….well, that didn’t last, as he axed the public comment at the workshops! I lost interest. I don’t care to sit for hours and be a mime. Since then, I have heard feedback reports and complaints that “only his friends got to speak”, whether true or not, I don’t know, as I didn’t go, as I lost interest……which was a total surprise to me, if his “friends” did speak, since he was so adamant that there would be no public comment at the workshops, when I went. Forget the public hearings at the council meetings, when the budget comes before the council as they, (the council) considers everything already worked out and finished. Stick a fork in it, it’s done. At least, most of the council members, no matter what the public says, offers, or objects to! Reply Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter The Anatomy of Fear February 22, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply February 23, 2018 at 6:25 am You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here TAGSApopka City Commission Seat #2Decision Apopka 2018Leroy Bell Previous articleAmerica’s Pastor Billy Graham dies at age 99Next articleApopka to open first new fire station in 20 years this week Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Mama Mia This man is trouble. He is the same person that came in the Museum of Apopka and started yelling and screaming at the volunteers and the mayor‘s wife because a photo had been removed from the wall so the wall could be painted! You can’t make this up.. Decision Apopka 2018Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of features on the 10 candidates running for office in the Apopka municipal elections.Apopka City Commission Candidate Feature: Seat #2 Leroy BellLeroy Bell is a firebrand.He is outspoken and candid. He shoots from the hip, speaks his mind and lets the chips fall where they may.And chips often fall.In the span of a four-minute public comment at a November 15th, 2017 City Council meeting, Bell had harsh words for Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, his wife, a city commissioner, the Apopka Police Department, the Apopka Fire Department, the Apopka Historical Society, and The Apopka Voice.Leroy BellBut now Bell would like to sit in Seat #2 of that same City Council.Bell is running against incumbent City Commissioner Diane Velazquez, the commissioner he had harsh words for in November, as well as challengers Alice Nolan and Alicia Koutsoulieris. And although he is brash at times in his approach, his reason for running is clear in his mind. “It came from an early age,” said Bell. I watched my father serving something bigger than himself. My father was a police officer, mechanic, pastor and community leader. I took that path. Growing up around people with a voice, and nobody listening to them. My father was the type of guy to give a voice to the voiceless. That’s what I want to be. I’m willing to serve for something bigger than myself like my father. I want to bring something to the City Council that hasn’t been there for years, and that’s the voice of the community. More than anything I want to bring the voiceless out of the shadows.” Bell was once a supporter of the administration that he now criticizes. In his viewpoint, they have not been transparent, and they have not delivered on their promises. “When this administration came in, you can say I was one of the people that drank the Kool-Aid. We took them out in the community, and they spoke with passion about things that need to be done in certain parts of the city that wasn’t done in other parts of the city. But once they were elected, they didn’t keep their word. I take people at their word, that’s why I’m high on integrity. I’ve helped plenty of people get elected. But once on the dais, they seem to be forgetful.” Bell is clearly a proponent of integrity. In fact, he named it as the most significant issue facing Apopka going forward. He believes trust can shape a future of security and prosperity. “Integrity is what keeps citizens engaged. Trust. When you gain trust, then different things begin to happen. You see the risk with first responders go down, especially with police officers. Pride comes up, cost and risks go down. When you gain trust, you get things done, and you get the things the people of this community want.”Bell wants to spearhead the idea of Apopka’s citizens taking the reins of government and becoming a much more significant voice in the future. “We the citizens have no say-so in this debacle they call a budget. We’re the citizens. We pay taxes. We should have a say-so in which direction the government is going or how fast it’s getting there. The City Council goes line by line through their budget. And then they pick this or that to add or cut… but if you had a citizen at the table they would be held accountable. It takes citizens to run the government. Not the politicians, the people.” Despite a 2017-18 Fiscal Budget at just under $125 million, and reserves in the general fund, Bell sees the City of Apopka as out of money. “We are in a deficit, not a surplus. We’re broke. They had to borrow money to balance the budget. Where is the money going? People say the budget is balanced. The mayor said at the State of the City address that we have reserves above 20%, but then we have commissioners that aren’t his rubber stamp say were at 18%, so they don’t know where the budget is at. I don’t know where the budget is at and half the folks in the community don’t know, so where’s the money? What is the actual bottom line of the budget right now?” Bell would like to see a more substantial reserve, and his plan has community support according to his conversations with them. “I think our reserves need to be at 25%, and plenty of people in the community agree with that. Most people keep a reserve of three house payments. That’s what the City should do. If the City doesn’t have the respect for the reserves to keep three months of expenses, it should explain why they need to put their hands on the reserves. You can’t just go using the reserves like it’s your slush fund. The roof at the amphitheater would’ve been fixed by now if they didn’t mess up the reserve.” His approach to getting reserves to that amount is to go through the budget with a fine tooth comb and finding unnecessary spending. “We would go through every line of the budget and streamline it. There are duplicate services we can end. We can cut the mayor’s salary in half. We can stop doing so many studies. If you meet with the community, you don’t have to hire a consulting firm.” Like many others, Bell is in favor of slow, managed growth. And his thoughts on how to slow and control it begin from the ground up. “We are a fast-growing community, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What I want is managed growth. Growing something that is simple into something complex. But before we grow, we need to get the roads fixed. We need to lay the foundation first. You can kill a town by bringing in too many businesses. What the people want is to manage the growth so that progress doesn’t outpace their salaries.”And when it comes to jobs, salary, and training the next generation of workforce, Bell believes that lies in the current and future business owners of Apopka. “You have to have good players in business, and we have great businesses in Apopka. So we need to partner with them. We need to get employment up. We start there. We get businesses to start pilot programs to hire and train the kids in their industry. That gives the next generation careers not just jobs. And when we do bring new business into Apopka, we make sure they are good stewards. Make sure they pay a living wage. Make sure they have healthcare for their employees. Then when homes start getting built, people can afford them.”He also believes that building the roads of today’s Apopka will pay dividends in the future, and protect the budget reserves he wants to establish. “Before we grow let’s get some sustainable infrastructure in place. This is where I can cut some more money in future budgets. You can put a Band-Aid on a problem instead of fixing it, and somewhere down the line, you’ve got to come back, and spend more of the reserve, because it wasn’t in the budget. It’s a lot of wasteful spending, and that’s where slowing growth and making sure you do it the right way is how you responsibly manage growth.” Bell’s first crusade into local causes came over 20 years ago after he moved back to Apopka, and it would shape his attitude about community advocacy forever. “In 1997 when I returned to Apopka, I noticed the dump was wide open right next to my mother’s house. You could see all the trash and birds and rodents… and there was a bad smell, and it seemed no one was doing anything about it. So my wife and I… and a local physician started fighting against the dump. Finally, we got them to close one of them early, but then we found out a lot is going on down there. Just in that area, you probably had 200 people die in the last 10 years from various respiratory causes. They have all kind of toxic places around there like medical waste, and you have the Apopka Wastewater Facility down there. It might be better, but sometimes people can’t come outside because of the smell. It’s sad to see you can’t do anything. Your hands are tied. So that’s where I got my passion. That’s where the spark plug comes from. In fights like that where people’s lives are on the line.” And despite his passion for the South Apopka community, Bell says he would be a commissioner for everyone. “I see myself as a champion for all of Apopka. My call is for all people. I just left the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – Dreamers) meeting at the Hope CommUnity Center. I’m a champion for that. I speak out for the farmworkers. I’m for anybody that doesn’t have a voice. I guess I’m just crazy and loud enough that I’m not afraid to speak up.” And it is that loud, crazy, fearless description that Bell attributes to himself that is unusual for a would-be city commissioner where a diplomatic approach is often the norm for governance, but Bell is confident he can work with anyone on City Council or staff for the betterment of the community. “I can get along with anybody, especially for a common cause. We as people should be able to agree on some things, but some things we won’t. But we can always agree to disagree and come together. The blueprint of the City of Apopka starts with the citizens at the top, the City Council in the middle, then the administration at the bottom. I think the city would be much better off if they started using that blueprint rather than the citizens at the bottom, the City Council in the middle, and the administration at the top. So yes I would work well with anybody. I was a 12-year veteran of the US Army. I worked with 5,000 men at one time that was in my command. I can get along with people, but to get along with me best is to get along and do what the citizens are saying.” If elected, only time will only tell if Bell could transition from outspoken advocate to consensus-building commissioner, but at the end of the day, he is far more focused on the substance of his issues, than the tone he sets or the feathers he may ruffle. “I’m a servant. I want to serve the people; I just don’t show up for photo-ops. I’m a person that is concrete and tangible. I’m direct. I’m not abstract. I’m somebody you can touch. And that’s the way I’m running my campaign.” February 23, 2018 at 6:44 am Reply I keep hearing that the city is in trouble financially. I don’t know if it is true or not. What I can tell you is, I am concerned, as my husband has a pension with the city, and it is concerning to us. I have heard of other cities, in other states, that have gone bankrupt, and that those cities couldn’t pay out their pensions, their employee salaries, and their bills, so of course, we are concerned, as we don’t know what would happen, if something like that did occur here in this city. It is a valid concern to us. Mama Mia Please enter your name here Please enter your comment! 3 COMMENTS
“In places where inequality is the deepest, the use of prison and punishment is the greatest.” (Ruth Wilson Gilmore) Prisons do not keep people safe from violence; in fact, these institutions perpetuate violence themselves and further entrench poverty. They are tools used by those who hoard mass amounts of wealth to undercut wages and pit workers against one another.Tear gas rises from parts of Turi jail where a rebellion broke out in Cuenca, Ecuador, Feb. 23.Once people are labeled “criminal,” “thug” or perhaps even a “gang member,” empathy often goes out the window, despite the fact that those labels were designed to sow difference and isolate members of the working class from one another and from their common enemy.On Feb. 23, in four prisons in three of Ecuador’s cities, 80 prisoners died as “violence erupted in prisons in Guayas, Azuay and Cotopaxi provinces, which hold about 70% of Ecuador’s total prison population.” (Reuters, Feb. 24) Officials blamed the violence on rival gangs and criminal enterprises vying for business. The real culprit, however, seems to be the material conditions that caused gang formations to arise in the first place, as well as overcrowding and unsanitary conditions inside prisons during a deadly pandemic.“Ecuador’s prison system, whose facilities were designed for some 27,000 people, still houses about 38,000 people.” (Al-Jazeera, Feb. 24) Ecuador’s incarceration rate is much lower than that of the U.S. — which remains the world’s No. 1 jailer and has exported its prison system to at least 33 other countries (Alliance for Global Justice, afgj.org/prison-imperialism).While the U.S. hasn’t directly shaped Ecuador’s prisons, the economic policies that Washington and Wall Street dominate have had their impact. “Millions have been driven into poverty by International Monetary Fund-imposed austerity measures, before and during the COVID crisis under the Moreno-Lasso program. Youth are without work, education and a future. Some 38% of Ecuadorians live in poverty.“Rural populations suffer most, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), with poverty increasing from 68% to 71% in 2019. Under Moreno, another 1.87 million people entered poverty, with a total of 1.17 million people living in extreme poverty, out of a population of just under 18 million. Moreno imposed a total wage freeze on all workers as the income of the elites soared.” (Workers World, April 10)“The presidential candidate for the opposition alliance Union for Hope (UNES), Andres Arauz, demanded that the president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, take responsibility for the consequences of prison riots occurring in the country. . . . He pointed out that Feb. 23 will go down in history as a very sad day for Ecuador that demonstrates negligence, incapacity and abandonment in all areas of public policy.” (Cuba Sí, Feb. 25)Horrible, inhumane conditions inside prisons in Ecuador provoked violence that claimed the lives of 80 people. This trauma will forever affect the families and loved ones of the dead. The conditions that precipitated such violence are similar to what people inside prisons, jails and detention centers in the U.S. face, particularly during the COVID pandemic.Prisons are part of a state power, whose role is to protect the wealth that the capitalists class has amassed by exploiting the workers whose labor produced that wealth. Abolishing the conditions that made prisons necessary means abolishing the oppressive system that creates enormous inequalities — from the U.S. to Ecuador.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Top Stories”You Have Our Sympathy, But We Can’t Take It On Ourselves To Collect & Distribute Money”: SC On Victims Of Ponzi Scheme Mehal Jain18 Nov 2020 4:15 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Tuesday asked for suggestions as to the relief which it may grant to the victims in the 2018 ponzi scheme run by Future Maker Life Care Pvt Ltd, which involved a fraud of thousand of crores of rupees.The writ petition by the aggrieved was being heard by a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi.”You have our sympathy, but the Supreme Court is not…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Tuesday asked for suggestions as to the relief which it may grant to the victims in the 2018 ponzi scheme run by Future Maker Life Care Pvt Ltd, which involved a fraud of thousand of crores of rupees.The writ petition by the aggrieved was being heard by a bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi.”You have our sympathy, but the Supreme Court is not the right place. There are 100s of people who have cheated thousands and lakhs of people. We can’t take it upon ourselves to collect and distribute money”, said Justice Rao.”In the Saradha chit fund case, the Supreme Court had transferred all petitions to itself as several pleas had come to be filed in different states. In the present case, transferring all petitions to one place may be one idea, but such a transfer to the Supreme Court or one High Court will not help you. Your concern is money- how is to be collected? By sale of property? How is it to be distributed? We can’t take this on ourselves”, continued the judge.”In the Sahara case also, the SEBI was asked to look into the fraud by the company, the issue of fictitious investors. It was not asked to collect and distribute money…”, pointed out Justice Rao.After a considerable conference with the members of the bench, Justice Rao said to the counsel for the petitioners, “You have our sympathy, but tell us how to give you relief. Give us suggestions…otherwise, we can’t oblige”The matter was adjourned by 2 weeks to afford time to the petitioners to come up with suggestions.Reportedly, FIRs were filed against the company and its directors by Telangana police in March, 2019 for cheating the common public by propagating a false theme of ‘a life turning opportunity to earn income Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,00,000 per month’ and “inviting innocent public” to become members of their ponzi pyramid scheme in the guise of direct selling multi-level marketing by selling worthless products such as suit length and edible products.Investigation under the provisions of PMLA revealed that funds were fraudulently collected from the subscribers as deposit towards membership in the scheme through a chain of agents spread across India. These deposits collected through the schemes were illegally diverted into the personal accounts of the directors, their family members and other associates, it said.Funds were also diverted to other shell companies incorporated by the two directors.Next Story
The Department of Mathematics in the College of Natural Sciencesand Mathematics invites applications for a full time Lecturerposition to begin in Spring 2021 for the Masters in Statistics andData Science program.Responsibilities will include teaching 3 – 4 courses relevant tothe program in Statistics and Data Science per semester orequivalent course development duties as determined by thedepartment chair.The University of Houston, with one of the most diverse studentbodies in the nation, seeks to recruit and retain a diversecommunity of scholars. Continued employment and the possibility ofreappointment are contingent upon availability of funding, annualreview, and continued need for the position within the Departmentof Mathematics.Applicants should submit a cover letter; a curriculum vitae, whichincludes a list of all courses taught; a teaching philosophy; andthe names and contact information for three references. Onlyapplications with all required documents will be considered.The University of Houston is an equal opportunity/affirmativeaction employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons withdisabilities are encouraged to apply.Qualifications :Ph.D. in Statistics, Mathematics, or Data Science related field ispreferred with teaching experience at the university level.Notes to Applicant: Official transcripts are required for afaculty appointment and will be requested upon selection of finalcandidate. All positions at the University of Houston are securitysensitive and will require a criminal history check.
The beach replenishment project at the southern end of Ocean City, NJ is now expected to start April 14 and end in early July.Mike Dattilo, assistant to Mayor Jay Gillian, announced the expedited schedule on Thursday after a project update meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers.The work had been scheduled to start in early May and stretch into August. The new schedule provides less of a disruption to the summer vacation season.The city administration released the following fact sheet on the project as of March 26, 2015: Sign up for free breaking news updates from Ocean City.Get Ocean City updates in your Facebook news feed. “Like” us. FACT SHEET RE: BEACH REPLENISHMENT PROJECT IN SOUTH END OF OCEAN CITY, NJProject Description: Ocean City will receive approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of sand on approximately 2.6 miles of beach from 36th Street to 59th Street. Ancillary work includes the construction of pedestrian crossovers and the installation of new dune fence and dune grass. Our neighboring communities , Strathmere and Sea Isle, will also be receiving beach replenishment projects simultaneous with the work in Ocean City. The project is being overseen by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and is 100 % federally funded at a total cost of $57 million. There is no local funding towards this project.Contractor: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois. They are the largest dredging operator in North America and have completed large scale dredging projects around the world.The Dredge: The sand will be supplied by a hopper dredge named the “Liberty Island.” The sand will be gathered from a borrow area located approximately 2.5 miles offshore of Strathmere. The dredge will then transport the sand close to shore at one of two landing areas where it will then be pumped onto the beach.Schedule: The contractor has recently begun mobilization in Ocean City. The current project schedule calls for dredging operations to begin on April 14th and be completed in early July, with equipment demobilization to follow. Dredging operations will take place on a 24 hour / 7 day per week basis. Dates may vary and are dependent on weather, equipment and other factors. A pipeline for a beach replenishment project between 36th and 59th streets in Ocean City, NJ, has already hit the beach just south of 42nd Street. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSWill the beach be closed for the project?No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed at any one time. The closed area will shift north or south as the project proceeds. Beaches adjacent to the closed area will be open as normal. Some areas outside of the closed area may have a pipe running parallel to the ocean. Ramps will be constructed over the pipe at each street end and these beaches can be enjoyed as normal.Where will the project begin and how will it proceed?The current plan is for the contractor to establish the first offshore dredge pipe landing near 43rd Street. The contractor will begin pumping sand here moving north to 36th Street (northern project limit). The contractor will then pump south from the 43rd Street landing area to near 49th Street. Next, the contractor will establish a second offshore dredge pipe landing near 55th Street and begin pumping north to 49th Street. The contractor will then pump south from the 55th Street landing area to near 59th Street (southern project limit).When will my beach be closed?At this time it is not possible to estimate exactly when any one particular beach will be closed. Once the project begins and proceeds it may be possible to estimate what beaches will be affected for a relatively short duration of time on a day-to-day basis.Why is this work being done during the summer season?The project is under the control of the Army Corps, and just one of several scheduled up and down the coast as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Ocean City has attempted to have the south end of the island included in the federal beach replenishment program since the 1980’s. It now is and will be replenished on a three year cycle moving forward. While the timing is not ideal, it will allow for the project to be completed prior to the height of the hurricane season and the winter storm season. While everyone will enjoy bigger and better beaches, the project is really about protecting billions of dollars of public and private property from future storm damage. It simply would not be responsible for Ocean City to decline this project because of its timing. The City will work very closely with the Army Corps and the contractor to minimize any inconvenience.What will Ocean City do to minimize the inconvenience for residents and guests?The City will be providing free shuttle service from the closed area to adjacent beaches that are open. The shuttle service will tentatively begin on Memorial Day Weekend.For more information visit: www.ocnj.us/beachfill or call 609-399-6111.
By TIM KELLYBy his own admission, Brian Stempin was never much of an athlete.“In high school I was more interested in the chess team and building robots,” the 33-year-old Ocean City resident said.Thus, Stempin found it amusing when friends saw his brand new USA gear and asked if he was going to be in the Olympics.Not yet, as canopy formation skydiving is not an Olympic sport for 2022 in Tokyo. The uniform represents Stempin’s selection to the elite aerial athletes of the United States Parachute team.He and his teammates will compete against the best in the word Aug. 17-20 at the World Cup of Canopy Formation Skydiving to take place in Romania.Brian took a moment to talk to OCNJDaily.com upon his arrival in Bucharest and his reflection on the competition to come. His humility was on display as Stempin spoke of what was to come when the world-class skydivers from around the globe head for the drop zone.“I haven’t been skydiving that long (about four years) and there are plenty of people who are better than me. But here I am, competing at the highest level. It’s going to be quite an experience.”In canopy formation jumping, the athletes deploy their chutes immediately upon leaving the plane and build formations as quickly as they can by attaching or “docking” to the canopies of the other jumpers’ chutes. A skydiving videographer accompanies each of the four-person teams to record the action. In exhibitions, there have been much larger formations, including all 11 members of a team representing the Indian Air Force in 2012, and the largest formation yet achieved, a 100-person spectacular over Lake Wales, Florida, in 2007. At the Worlds, the competition involves four-person teams. As in sports such as diving or gymnastics, style points are awarded by a panel of judges to determine the winners.Ocean City resident Brian Stempin, center, with two members of his New England Wrapture team at their qualifying performance in the U.S. Nationals.Stempin earned his place on the USA squad when his team, the New England Wrapture, placed in the 2018 United States Parachute Association’s national championships, held in suburban Illinois near Chicago.For Brian, participation at the Worlds is more about personal growth, and not about winning a medal. “Really, just being a part of this event and traveling here is the important thing,” he said. “Any points at all that we score at this level and against this formidable competition will be a very good outcome.”He began skydiving at Cross Keys Airport in Camden County, as a result of a tandem jump purchased for him as a gift.“After that first time, I was immediately hooked,” he recalled. Stempin began working around the airport and went to flight school to obtain his own pilot’s license. He also began traveling to various drop zones within driving distance to participate and learn about canopy formation jumping. He became known as an up-and-coming jumper willing to drive any distance to take part in a formation team. To date he has 550 jumps under his belt.“That’s really not a whole lot for the amount of time I’ve been involved in the sport. Some people do that many jumps in a year,” he explained. What he lacks in quantity, he made up for in the desire to improve and to compete and ever-escalating levels. No conversation with a skydiver is complete without a question about the inherent dangers of jumping out of a plane thousands of feet above terra firma. “Well, we really don’t jump,” he corrected, “we just lean out of the door and let gravity take care of the rest,” he said. “If you look at the statistics, there are very few deaths in the sport, and when the accidents are investigated, more than half of those are due to (human error),” he continued. “It’s extremely rare for deaths to occur because of things the person couldn’t control.”Safety checks are as much a part of the sport as learning how to pack the parachute, Stempin saidDuring the competition, his mind will be on working with his teammates.“It kind of feels surreal to be representing my country,” he said. The New England Wrapture team lining up in formation during the U.S. Nationals. Ocean City’s Brian Stempin and teammates in action. (Photos by David Wybenga, courtesy U.S. Parachute Association)
Manchester-based GH Sheldon plans to boost sales with the supermarkets and expand into other channels after investing nearly £4m in a second bakery.The family-run firm, which supplies oven-bottom muffins, hot cross buns, balm cakes and batons to the major multiples, has doubled capacity by buying and refurbishing a building opposite its original site in Openshaw. The move doubles the number of staff at the firm to over 200 and has involved the installation of three new lines. These include two bespoke travelling ovens, as well as plant for making speciality breads.Established in 1949 by Harold Sheldon, the firm is now run by his son, MD Graham Sheldon, and his wife Barbara. Their children, Lee and Sarah, are company directors. “The new bakery gives us the flexibility to increase sales with our existing customers and look to grow other channels,” said Sarah Sheldon.Graham Sheldon added: “We have worked hard to build our reputation over the last 50 years, and this expansion will ensure that we remain at the forefront of baking in this country for decades to come.”The Co-operative Bank helped finance the expansion.
Courtesy of Ani Aprahamian The ozone generator nuclear physics professor Ani Aprahamian and her team at the Alikhanyan National Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia created sterilizes rooms by using ozone gas.Aprahamian said the prototype for the generator was built in three days by piecing together scrap parts in the laboratory, and the team confirmed the success of the prototype by testing it on live viruses. “Everybody worked day and night … They were working until four or five, every morning,” Aprahamian said. “This is a project we started to help Armenia given the coronavirus.”In less than two weeks since the start of the initiative, Aprahamian said the device was delivered to the Armenian Ministry of Health, which was invested in its creation. “We delivered [the prototype] to The Ministry of Health two weeks ago … The Ministry thought it was useful and asked us to build 20 more,” Aprahamian said. The additional generators were “much better quality” than the prototype, Aprahamian said, and can now be used to sterilize hundreds of spaces. Aprahamian’s team consists of eight people working remotely. While the shelter in place order in Armenia has made collaboration challenging, the various expertises of the group have allowed them to execute the various aspects of the project in a timely fashion while still maintaining social distancing.The inspiration for the program originated with a patent on an old ozone generator from one of Aprahamian’s colleagues.“I gathered a group of [people] and said, ‘Can we think about something to do?’,” Aprahamian said. “Together they looked at the old [generator] and improved the designs … They built something so much better.”The ozone generator sucks the air from a room and then exposes it to high voltage which breaks down oxygen to ozone gas. While ozone protects the earth from space radiation, it also breaks down viruses and bacteria by oxidation. The molecule itself then breaks down in 10-30 minutes. However, ozone is harmful to breathe. The generator must be placed in an empty room to sterilize for an hour, and the generator must be removed for an additional hour to give the ozone time to fully break down so people can safely enter later. Aprahamian’s team consists of division leader professor Albert Avetisyan, engineers Ando Manukyan, Gevorg Hovhannisyan and Vahan Elbakyan, graduate student Kim Hovhannisyan, physicists Arthur Mkrtchyan and Armen Gyurjinyan and instruction writer Hripsime Mkrtchyan.“They have different areas, they’re doing different kinds of work,” Aprahamian said. “… Everyone here works at the [National Science Institute of Armenia] … on the cyclotron, a new thing that’s starting nuclear medicine in Armenia.” A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator which can be used to create radioactive isotopes which can be applied in nuclear medicine, agriculture, fisheries, cognac production and testing objects for cultural heritage.The team has also built an ultraviolet C sterilization box to sanitize used masks and personal protective equipment, and they plan to develop an improved and accessible respirator system to alleviate the respiratory distress of afflicted patients.“This kind of project is very important nowadays,” Mkrtchyan said. “I think it will change a lot of things, including the view of the government towards science … here in Armenia. When you are doing something useful for the entire country, all of them are starting to be interested and take notice.”Tags: Armenia, COVID-19, freimann life science center, nuclear physics, ozone generator Through the use of nuclear medicine, ozone generators and ultraviolet lamps, Ani Aprahamian and her team have successfully initiated a program to combat COVID-19 in Armenia. Aprahamian, a professor of experimental nuclear physics, has taught at Notre Dame for 30 years and also serves as the director of the Alikhanian National Science Laboratory in Yerevan, Armenia. Having recently been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue her research in Armenia, Aprahamian, along with her team, developed an ozone generator which can sterilize areas of up to 140 cubic meters every hour to help fight COVID-19.“It depends on exposure time, [and] how long you turn on it, then bigger places can be sterilized,” program engineer Ando Manukyan said.