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first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare It is time to add a member to Evansville City Council that understands business, budgets and has a plan to increase tax revenues without increasing tax burdens to the businesses and citizens of our fine city! It is time to have someone who knows how to work with the Mayor, department heads and fellow city council representatives in a way that brings prosperity. It is time to stop the childish bickering during city council meetings by unqualified and immature representatives.Robert MyersCandidate for At- Large City Council City Council Monday’s Evansville City Council Meeting was probably the most frustrating one for me to watch, all year. I witnessed a handful of outgoing council members manipulate the council meeting process for their own political gain and to fulfill their personal agendas.What SHOULD have happened:At the start of the meeting, an immediate vote should have been called. That vote would be to determine whether or not to approve the Mayor’s adjusted budget. That never happened.What DID happen: Conor O’Daniel quickly started going through his proposed amendments and sweeping cuts to the city’s budget. He quickly asked for votes on amendments and none of the other 8 stopped him. What is most sad is that Mr. O’Daniel (and his “special interest council mates”) waited until Monday’s meeting to spring this proposal onto the group. He failed to reach out to the Mayor’s office, earlier in the week, to try to negotiate. I find his behavior and actions to be very unbecoming of an elected official. Again, he had backing on that council and he did not act alone! Evansville is better off with the “special interest council mates” not being on the board, next year.What stood out to me the most were these items:1) Overtime cuts for Fire, Rescue, Police. Hopefully, if our house catches on fire, it doesn’t happen at the end of a payroll period. Natural disaster? Good luck, everyone.2) Sweeping cuts over over 40% to funding of community non­profits. Voices, UNOE and several others. Very sad.3) Moving $730,000.00 into the police vehicle budget, bringing it to $1 million. For some reason, the “special interest council mates” felt that leasing was bad and buying was better. I would have to get more detail, but there is hopefully some major financial benefit that I don’t see, otherwise this was a terrible idea.4) The 9 members of Evansville City Council, though very much part­time, all receive full Health Care Benefits. That cost is nearly $180,000.00 per year to the tax payers (this according to a fine citizen who spoke at city council ­ Conor O’Daniel responded and never attempted to correct the figure, so I am assuming that it is accurate). This makes no sense at all. The members are all retired or practicing doctors/lawyers/CPA’s or they are real estate agents. They don’t NEED the health insurance, do they?When I am elected, I will do what none of the 9 current members did last night, I will absolutely call for a vote to end paying the health insurance for Evansville City Council Members.What was the solution and how could these cuts have been prevented?The solution wasn’t waiting until the end of their 4 year term to slap these insane cuts onto the City of Evansville. The solution was to work harder to increase revenues coming into the City of Evansville. The board should have found ways to add more homes with values of over $200k in order to increase the overall tax revenue income. The board should have found ways to attract more businesses to bring in more tax revenue. The board should have worked with the revenue generating entities, such as the pools and golf courses, to help them increase revenues. That makes them self­ sufficient and lessens the burden on the budget. The majority of this current Evansville City Council has shown their failure of doing any of these things, over the past 4 years. Many of them have spent the last 4 years causing the ship to begin sinking. Now, several are jumping off of the ship but not before poking major holes into the hull and ripping the sails just before jumping into their life boats.last_img read more

first_imgAuthor Delia Owens, right, with Julie Howard, of the Ocean City Free Public Library, takes questions from the audience at the Music Pier. By MADDY VITALEAuthor of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” Delia Owens, a zoologist, nature writer and animal behaviorist, filled the Music Pier on Saturday afternoon with a talk about her best-selling novel about a girl growing up in coastal North Carolina.Owens, 70, joked at the beginning of her remarks to a full house of about 1,000 fans that after living in isolation studying animals in a remote area of Africa, the Music Pier audience was likely the most people she ever saw in one place.“It’s such a pleasure to be in Ocean City,” she said.She told a story that sent laughter through the audience of a bull elephant named “Cheers” that flapped his ears, whipped his trunk and charged her.“The level of excitement I feel now is more than from Cheers chasing me,” she said with a laugh.Cheers eventually settled down and went about his business eating, she said.Owens grew up in rural Georgia and moved to Africa in 1974. She lived there for 23 years and studied animals and their behaviors.Owens co-authored nonfiction books about life in Africa with her then-husband, Mark. The two wrote “Cry of the Kalahari,” “The Eye of the Elephant,” and “Secrets of the Savanna.”About 1,000 people filled the Music Pier to see the best-selling author.Owens said that in the years living in some of the most remote regions of Africa, watching prides of lions, herds of elephants and troops of primates, she realized that a person does not have to live in a rural area away from it all to feel lonely or to feel isolated.She spoke about how and why she wrote her novel. She described it as an intense love story, a mystery, and more than anything, an exploration into the raw core of human nature.“Where the Crawdads Sing is a lot of things. One thing it is about is finding the strength to get yourself from the darkness to the light and to learn about human nature from nature itself,” Owens explained.During the event, Owens signed her books and did a Q&A, which was moderated by Adult Programming Librarian Julie Howard.Howard said she was amazed by the fantastic turnout.“We are very excited to see this much enthusiasm for the book we chose. We are very happy with the response from the community,” Howard said in an interview.Later, while addressing the audience from the stage, she said, “This year we have chosen a book that has captured the hearts of the readers and tops the charts for good reason. It has inspired spirited book clubs, brought the community together over literature and shows how connected we are. We are so honored to have Delia Owens here.”Howard read the audience questions to Owens.Owens was asked some light-hearted questions such as what are crawdads and some more serious questions about how she knew about “marsh people.”When asked if she spent much time revising her copy, she explained there is no perfect sentence and that she makes several revisions to her writings before she is satisfied.Owens said she is also in the midst of writing her second novel and is looking forward to sharing it with the public, but did not elaborate on any details.Delia Owens tells of her experiences in Africa.“Is someone making a movie about the book?” Howard asked her about “Where the Crawdads Sing.”The book was selected for actress, producer and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club in September 2018.Owens told the audience that Witherspoon will be turning the novel into a movie and she went out to Los Angeles to meet with the star.The two, she noted, had lunch and talked like old friends. She added that she is quite excited about the movie.“Yes, Reese Witherspoon is doing a movie on the book,” Owens said. “I went to L.A. to have lunch with her. We were like girlfriends at the Beverly (Hills) Hotel. It was fancy for me.”She joked that Witherspoon asked her what “cute” actor she would like to see playing one of the characters in the book and she admitted she didn’t know any current cute actors. Robert Redford, Owens said with a smile, would be her choice.Owens spoke of the irony of the title of her first novel.“I learned from a library book that crawdads don’t sing. But I learned from my mother that if you go far enough into the wilderness, you will hear them. If you are lucky enough, you will get a glimpse of that place,” Owens said.Audience members lined up after the hour-long presentation to get signed copies of “Where the Crawdads Sing.”For more Ocean City Free Public Library events and information visit http://www.oceancitylibrary.org/“Where the Crawdads Sing” is Delia Owens’ first novel.last_img read more

first_imgCooplands of Doncaster continued with its ambitious expansion plan this month after acquiring two shops from Sparks Confectioners in Bradford.The company, which has plans to double the size of its business over the next five years, bought 10 Ainsleys shops out of administration earlier this year. The two Sparks shops are leased from Morrisons supermarkets and have a combined turnover of £0.7m, employing 20 staff. The shops, to be rebranded as Cooplands within the month, take the firm’s retail estate to 89 stores, with over 800 staff. Annual sales stand at around £22m.Executive chairman Chris Peck commented: “The stores are in high footfall locations and the heritage and family culture of Sparks fit seamlessly with our own business, which has been in retail baking for almost 80 years. We are proud to be a Yorkshire-based business, offering fresh, artisan and high-quality handmade products representing great value. We see this as a crucial differentiation from our national retail bakery competitors, who we believe are primarily price-focused and sell mass-produced products.”Cooplands has also launched a shop refurbishment programme across its estate with two shops revamped and a further five or six to carry the new look by end of the year. Sales have increased by around 20% at the shops that have been updated.”The market remains challenging and the pricing strategy of the market leaders remains very unclear and defensive,” said Peck. “With commodity cost inflation in flour and wheat-influenced proteins impacting the retail bakery sector, we might have expected market leaders to be driving prices up, with the rest of the market following, helping themselves to an operating margin uplift at the same time.”>>Country Style buys Ainsleys’ central bakerylast_img read more

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Twitter 2 additional deaths and 477 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in latest ISDH numbers Pinterest By Carl Stutsman – March 25, 2020 0 321 Indiana State Department of Health 3-25-20 The latest numbers from the ISDH show another large jump in the number of confirmed cases. The state is now up to 477 total, 115 more than what was reported Tuesday. The number of total deaths is also on the rise with two more confirmed in the newest report. So far none of the reported deaths have been in the Michiana area.Locally the state reports 19 cases in St. Joseph County, 5 in Elkhart County, and 2 in LaPorte County. You can view the full map here.Below is the full ISDH release:INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today reported 115 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 477 the total number of Hoosiers diagnosed following corrections to the previous day’s total. Fourteen Hoosiers have died.A total of 3,356 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 2,931 on Monday.Marion County had the most new cases, at 67. The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence. Private lab reporting may be delayed and will be reflected in the map and count when results are received at ISDH.The dashboard also has been updated to reflect the following changes based on information provided to ISDH: One Marion County case has been moved to Hamilton County, two duplicate cases have been removed from the Marion County total, a Warrick County case has been reclassified as an out-of-state resident, an Owen County case has been moved to Monroe County and a Ripley County case has been moved to Franklin County.Additional updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak may be provided later today. Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Previous articleDomestic call involving a child spans two counties in Southwest Michigan before ending with an arrestNext articleThe BBB recommends checking on vacation plans, and being careful about people offering help picking up medications Carl Stutsman Pinterest Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Google+last_img read more

first_imgGhost Light 2018 Fall Tour11/14 – Jupiter Hall Albany – Albany, NY11/15 – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA11/16 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA11/17 – Higher Ground Showcase Lounge – Burlington, VT11/18 – Port City Music Hall – Portland, ME11/21 – Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY11/24 – The Hamilton – Washington, DC11/27 – The Broadberry – Richmond, VA11/28 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC11/29 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC11/30 – Charleston Pour House – Charleston, SC12/01 – Terminal West – Atlanta, GA12/05 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN12/06 – Cosmic Charlie’s – Lexington, KY12/12-12/16 – Holidaze – Puerto Moreles, MexicoView All Tour Dates Ghost Light has made serious waves in 2018. The newly formed project from Tom Hamilton, Holly Bowling, Raina Mullen, Scotty Zwang, and Steve Lyons is a force to be reckoned with, wowing audiences across the country with their next-level improvisations and already-stellar catalog of originals.Recently, the band has announced their plans for fall tour with an extended run spanning from November 14th to December 6th. Ghost Light’s fall tour kicks off in Albany, New York, at Jupiter Hall on November 14th. From there the group winds through Northampton, MA; Allston, MA; Burlington, VT; and Portland, ME, finishing off the tour’s non-stop five-night opening run.With a performance at New York City’s Brooklyn Bowl on November 21st, Ghost Light heads south, stopping at Washington, D.C.’s The Hamilton ahead of shows in Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Charlotte, NC; Charleston, SC; and Atlanta, GA, through to December 1st. Ghost Light will finish out their fall tour in the South, with a performance at Nashville, Tennessee’s The Basement East on December 5th and Lexington, Kentucky’s Cosmic Charlie’s on December 6th. To round out their announced plans for 2018, Ghost Light will finish out the year at the highly anticipated Holidaze, which returns to Mexico in mid-December.For more information and ticketing, head to Ghost Light’s website here.last_img read more

first_imgFor landscape managers, job bidding is tough. Bids have to be low enough to get jobs and high enough to turn a profit after covering costs. That makes cost estimating even more critical, especially for beginners who have no benchmark data to base their estimates on.A University of Georgia workshop, offered in Savannah Oct. 18-19 and Athens Oct. 25-26, will make it much easier. The workshop will introduce managers to “Hort Management,” a computerized cost-estimating and job-bidding module developed by UGA faculty.Participants don’t have to know anything about computers. With hands-on instruction, they will learn: Even people who don’t bid directly on jobs will find the program useful in estimating labor costs, time and task data and cost comparisons.The workshop is limited to the first 28 people who register. The $60 fee includes a copy of the $50 “Hort Management” program, lunch the first day, refreshment breaks, handouts and personalized instruction.The deadline to sign up is Friday, Oct. 12. To learn more, call the UGA Extension Service horticulture department at (706) 542-2861.Where to GoThe Savannah workshop is at the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens (912-921-5460). The BFCG Web site has directions and a map.The Athens site is the bottom-floor computer lab, Room 1203, in the Miller Plant Science Building on the corner of Carlton Street and D.W. Brooks Drive. The UGA Web site has a campus map. Bidding strategies.How to estimate both fixed and variable costs, including overhead and labor.How to structure bids in the form of a contract for presenting to clients.How computers make the bidding and estimating process more efficient and accurate.How to tailor “Hort Management” for their own business.last_img read more

first_imgUniversity of Georgia horticulturist Bodi Pennisi will discuss the best annual and tropical plants for Georgia home and professional landscapes at the Sept. 21 meeting of the Georgia Perennial Plant Association.The seminar begins at 7:30 p.m. in McElreath Hall at the Atlanta History Center. Pennisi’s research projects include studying the use of tropical plants in Georgia landscapes. She works closely with the floriculture industry and tests plant materials in the UGA Trial Gardens in Athens and the UGA Research and Education Garden in Griffin.For more information on the GPPA, see the web site www.georgiaperennial.org.last_img read more

first_imgOregon34,560,6059,674,16128.0 Kansas23,473,1177,506,49632.0 Pennsylvania111,863,06033,107,24029.6 South Carolina39,740,99912,252,52530.8 Mississippi25,171,0397,154,56628.4 Vermont spent $2.2 billion, or 36.7 percent, of public expenditures on education, the highest percentage of any state, though the third lowest total. State and local government spending increased by 6.5 percent in 2008, totaling more than $2.8 trillion, according to the US Census Bureau. Education topped government spending ($826.1 billion), followed by public welfare ($404.6 billion), insurance trust expenditures ($234.6 billion), utilities ($193.4 billion) and highways ($153.5 billion).These data provide a detailed look at state and local government spending priorities,” said Lisa Blumerman, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Governments Division.  Arizona52,533,34114,040,85326.7 Wyoming7,520,0512,239,91429.8 Washington66,692,19818,041,97227.1 Indiana49,265,60115,418,94431.3 New Mexico19,264,1915,911,77830.7 (Dollar amounts are in thousands.) Connecticut35,080,81911,126,43831.7 North Carolina72,873,16922,785,38631.3 Dist. Of Columbia12,948,6502,226,64617.2 These findings come from the 2008 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances, which includes data on revenues, expenditures, debt and assets (cash and security holdings) for state and local governments.Among state and local government spending, housing and community development increased 11.0 percent. Additionally, spending on hospitals increased 8.4 percent and spending on insurance trust systems increased by 9.8 percent (See Table 1[Excel]).Nationwide, state and local governments spent 2.8 percent on health services (other than hospital care), an increase of 7.4 percent.State and local governments took in $2.7 trillion in total revenues in fiscal year 2008, a13.4 percent decline since 2007. This was largely the result of a decrease in insurance trust revenue (See Table 2 [Excel]).Revenue from taxes, the largest share of state and local government revenue, rose3.7 percent to $1.3 trillion. Sales and gross receipts made up the largest share of tax revenue ($448.7 billion), followed by property taxes ($409.7 billion) and individual income tax revenue ($304.6 billion) (See Table 2 [Excel]).  Debt outstanding for state and local governments rose 5.8 percent to $2.6 trillion, while assets declined 1.7 percent to $5.4 trillion.Other highlights for state and local government finances:Public welfare spending increased 5.2 percent from $384.8 billion to $404.6 billion.Higher education spending increased 9.1 percent from $204.7 billion to $223.3 billion.Spending on education totaled more than 35 percent of expenditures in Vermont (36.7 percent) and Virginia (35.9 percent) (See Table 3 [Excel]).The leading state in expenditures for housing and community development was Louisiana (11.8 percent) (See Table 4[Excel]).Data in this report are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling errors. Sources of nonsampling errors include errors of response, nonreporting and coverage. More details covering the design methodology are available online at http://www2.census.gov/govs/estimate/2008_Local_Finance_Methodology.pdf(link is external). All comparative statements in this report have undergone statistical testing, and unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are statistically significant at the 10 percent significance level.Source: US Census. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — 7.14.2010. The information can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/govs/estimate/(link is external).RELEASED:  July 14, 2010 (WEDNESDAY) Tennessee49,128,07712,375,69825.2 Hawaii13,214,9513,393,56525.7 Idaho10,781,3573,168,77029.4 Minnesota50,844,30114,802,40929.1 Iowa25,785,4408,689,82133.7 Utah22,203,7097,470,55633.6 Alaska12,902,6123,010,43723.3 Massachusetts67,895,21517,305,94125.5 Louisiana45,938,06511,810,10025.7 Virginia63,272,06622,692,65235.9 Alabama38,201,26213,021,21034.1 Kentucky34,358,62510,632,51330.9 Michigan83,962,16528,310,91333.7 Florida158,174,50441,309,88726.1center_img AreaTotal ExpendituresExpenditures on EducationPercent of Total Expenditures Maine11,175,1713,188,93028.5 Texas188,686,23065,970,13335.0 Montana8,116,1992,522,78431.1 Ohio102,919,57330,882,31930.0 Oklahoma27,429,5779,144,59033.3 Maryland51,224,89617,201,57533.6 Vermont6,039,0762,214,71336.7 Arkansas20,171,6936,986,17834.6 New Hampshire9,967,7423,419,24534.3 Wisconsin49,283,37315,592,36531.6 Nebraska18,351,4505,090,38927.7 Illinois115,626,76132,736,15728.3 United States2,838,835,748826,063,17829.1 New York263,436,82664,743,13424.6 New Jersey91,728,63830,503,32133.3 Rhode Island10,576,1492,936,24027.8 Table 3. State and Local Government Expenditures on Education 2008 Georgia77,708,51625,650,66533.0 North Dakota5,615,9391,844,94132.9 West Virginia13,686,3664,683,67534.2 Delaware9,071,6092,878,32431.7 South Dakota5,833,0251,753,26830.1 California415,436,973103,871,03225.0 Nevada21,462,1546,226,56629.0 Missouri45,101,94013,938,65630.9 Colorado42,536,68312,602,58729.6 Source: 2008 Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances. Data users who create their own estimates using data from this report should cite the U.S. Census Bureau as the source of the original data only. The data in this table are based on information from public records and contain no confidential data. The state government data in this table come from a survey of all state governments and are not subject to sampling error.  The local government data in this table are from a sample of local governments, and as such, are subject to sampling variability. Additional information on sampling and nonsampling error, response rates, and definitions may be found at and .last_img read more

first_imgI mourn the loss of things that my children and I will never see—whether it’s the mass migration of passenger pigeons or the white blossoms of the American chestnut covering the mountains. Among these wounds there is indeed hope—a hope that can be seen, heard, and felt. For example, one can travel to Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains to hear the majestic, ear-piercing shrill of an elk bugle. This species was once lost to our mountains but is beginning to recover and reclaim its native land.But I can’t ignore the silence of animals that can no longer be heard in the Smokies. Only a few decades ago, one could still hear the howls and cries of the red wolf. Though the red wolf has been silenced in the Smokies, it can still be heard in the wilds of eastern North Carolina. This swampy stronghold is the only place in the world where endangered red wolves roam free.The red wolf was nearly driven to extinction in the 1950s through aggressive predator control programs. The red wolf population was decimated so badly that it was declared extinct in the wild in 1980. As a last-ditch effort, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up all of the remaining red wolves to rebuild an “experimental population.”In 1987, a breeding population of red wolves was released at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on an isolated coastal peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The wolves that were released included only four mating pairs. From this first generation, the population now includes over 100 animals.As the population has grown, the recovery program has faced increasing scrutiny and attacks from some unlikely foes. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission recently passed a series of resolutions that aim to undermine the protections for the red wolf and destroy the species outright. They say that it’s too challenging, too expensive, too contentious, and too late to protect the red wolf. I say, welcome to conservation.Too challenging?Conservation is inherently challenging, but since when has that stopped us? What if we had given up on the grizzly, the gray wolf, or the bald eagle? Can you imagine having our national symbol relegated to a mere picture on the back of a quarter? The NC Wildlife Resources Commission is only interested in a future without the red wolf. In my view the real challenge is revamping the apple-polishing good ol’ boy politics that pervade these agencies entrusted to serve the public.Too expensive?In 2007, the last year the data was compiled, a total of $1.4 million in federal money was spent on red wolf conservation efforts. This is less than 1% of what was spent on all endangered mammals combined. Compare that to the bald eagle, a recovered and delisted species, which cost $9.5 million.And just guess how much the state of North Carolina spent on red wolf recovery in 2007? A paltry and embarrassing $1,523. That’s roughly $15 per wild red wolf for the entire year. I would guess the NC Wildlife Resources Commission spends more than $1,500 a year on coffee and donuts for their meetings.Too contentious?When European settlers first began their war against the wild in the U.S., the only good predator was a dead one. We believed that with less predators came more game. We soon learned that ecology isn’t quite that simple as disease spread, ranges transformed to dust, and forests were denuded of new growth.Predator eradication policies of the past have damaged ecosystems and swung nature’s balance in radical directions. Nowhere have these lessons been more evident than in the East. We nearly lost all of our predators and even our prized games species. Today we celebrate the return of the white-tail deer, the wild turkey, and now the elk. But we are just now recognizing the incredible value of predators like the wolf and the cougar to these game populations and to entire ecosystems. For many agencies, though, outdated attitudes toward predators still persist.Too late?“We are doomed.” “Things have gotten so bad we are just going to have to live with it. “Species go extinct all the time with no real consequences.“ I have heard all of these statements from professional conservationists. It’s understandable to sometimes feel this way. Aldo Leopold, one of the founding fathers of conservation, wrote, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”Too often, though, we let these wounds fester rather than mend. Many of today’s conservation interests embrace pessimism, focusing on the magnitude of the challenge rather than the importance of the solution.It’s not too late for the 100 red wolves in east North Carolina. Do you think the red wolf wishes to pace the confines of a pen alone as the last member of its species? Is this the future we want for the world’s most endangered wolf? The red wolf will fight for its existence, and so must we. It’s never too late to try. We must not lose hope, because this is one wound we can heal.—Why is the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) proposing to end the Red Wolf Recovery program, and what can be done?As of January 2015, the NCWRC passed two resolutions that requested the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) end the Red Wolf Recovery Program and capture and remove all red wolves from private lands. This resolution threatens the very existence of the species. Over 27 years of recovery would be halted, and the species would once again go extinct in the wild. The reasons cited by the NCWRC are that the Recovery Program has been a failure, the wolves are hybridizing with coyotes, and sea level rise will force the wolves onto private lands. The latter is ironic since the state of North Carolina does not recognize the reality of climate change and passed a law banning any discussion on sea level rise until 2016.Public comments are crucial. Howl for the wolves: let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know that the red wolves deserve protection and the Recovery Program needs to be continued. Email comments to Cynthia Dohner, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at [email protected] and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at [email protected] there any chance of ever bringing the red wolf back to the Smokies and/or southern Appalachians?Alligator River represents the only location where red wolves have been successfully reintroduced to the wild. Other reintroduction programs have been initiated but failed. Red wolves were released into Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 1990s but were recaptured after the wolves left the park boundaries in search of prey. Fearing conflicts with nearby cattle farmers, the program was ended in 1998.For the red wolf to return to Southern Appalachians, human attitudes must shift. With sea level rise threatening the coastal population, the best hope for red wolves is to be returned to the vast stretches of public lands in western North Carolina.Are wolves and coyotes interbreeding? Are these coy-wolves a good or bad thing?While wolves and coyotes share much of their genes, they are classified as separate species and are managed as such. For most of their history coyotes and red wolves did not interbreed as most coyotes inhabited the western states and their migrations were suppressed by healthy wolf populations. As wolves were exterminated from their native range, the range of the coyote expanded. With wolves becoming more isolated, healthy wolf pack dynamics broke down, and wolves in search of mates began to interbreed with coyotes. This interbreeding has caused genetic introgression of coyotes into the red wolf populations and has produced coyote/wolf hybrids sometimes referred to as coy-wolves. Only a healthy population of red wolves that is allowed to expand can overcome the biological invasion of coyotes.last_img read more

first_imgJan 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Ukrainian emergency officials today reported an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza at a large chicken farm in the northern Crimean peninsula, as animal health officials in India continued their struggle to contain poultry outbreaks in West Bengal state.Ukraine’s emergency situations ministry said about 200 chickens died at the farm on Jan 15, and testing confirmed the birds had the H5N1 virus, RIA Novosti, Russia’s state news agency, reported today. About 25,000 birds on the farm will be slaughtered to control the spread of the disease, and authorities have established a 3-kilometer protection zone around the area.State inspectors are sampling domestic and wild bird populations throughout the Crimean peninsula for the H5N1 virus, according to a Deutsche Presse-Agentur report today.Ukraine’s last H5N1 outbreak occurred in June 2006, when the virus struck chickens in the northeastern part of the country near the Russian border, according to previous reports.In October, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that the H5N1 virus could be lurking in Europe and said it was particularly worried about countries bordering the Black Sea, which include Ukraine. The FAO said the Black Sea is a wintering area for migratory birds from Siberia and other locations and that poultry systems of many Black Sea countries have poor separation between wild and domestic birds.Jan Slingenbergh, an FAO senior animal health officer, said in the report that Black Sea area countries have large populations of chickens, ducks, and geese, with densities similar to those in some Asian countries where the virus continues to circulate in waterfowl and domestic birds. He said Ukraine has about 20 million domestic ducks.Meanwhile in India, West Bengal state’s chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, today described the spread of the H5N1 virus as “alarming,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.Anisur Rahaman, animal health minister in West Bengal, told AFP that villagers are resisting culling operations, chicken sales are continuing despite a ban, and more reports of poultry deaths are coming in from different areas.No human cases of H5N1 infection have been reported, though local hospitals are preparing isolation wards, Rahaman told AFP.A home ministry official in New Delhi said the paramilitary Border Security Force has been activated to stop the smuggling of chickens into Bangladesh, which neighbors West Bengal state, the AFP report said.The number of chickens and ducks that have died over the past week has increased to 62,000, Dilip Das, West Bengal’s animal resources development director, told AFP.In other developments, government officials in the United Kingdom said today that samples from a fifth mute swan from a Dorset Country swan sanctuary have tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the BBC reported.John Houston, general manager of the swannery, said the latest finding is not surprising, according to the BBC report. “We are expecting to have a run of positives and negatives while [the virus] works its way through the herd,” he said.He said H5N1 test results are pending on samples from four or five more dead swans that were collected at the sanctuary, the BBC reported.last_img read more