Rangers board plays down Mike Ashley’s influence as it announces date to vote on Dave King takeover

first_img Rangers board plays down Mike Ashley’s influence as it announces date to vote on Dave King takeover Show Comments ▼ by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity Weekzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comDefinitionThe Most Famous Movie Filmed In Every U.S. StateDefinitionSenior Living | Search AdsNew Senior Apartments Coming to Scottsdale (Take A Look at The Prices)Senior Living | Search AdsBeverly Hills MDPlastic Surgeon Explains: “Doing This Every Morning Can Snap Back Sagging Skin” (No Creams Needed)Beverly Hills MDTheFashionBallPrince Harry Admits Meghan Markle May Not Be The OneTheFashionBallEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island FarmAll Things Auto | Search AdsBuick’s New Lineup Is Truly StunningAll Things Auto | Search Ads whatsapp  Rangers have called a general meeting for 4 March to vote on shareholder Dave King’s requisition to remove the board. The current Rangers board of four directors including chairman David Somers and chief executive Derek Llambias would be removed if shareholders agree to the resolution put forward by King’s requisition. Former director King, who owns just under 15 per cent of shares in the troubled Scottish football club, will form a new board with two other directors if his resolution wins at least 51 per cent of shareholders’ votes. However the current board have warned its shareholders that “there could be a material adverse impact on the Company’s listing on AIM” if King is appointed due to his legal battles with South African authorities over tax. They argue that the Scottish Football Association’s fit and proper person requirement would preclude King and associate Paul Murray from being directors. Rangers have also taken steps to clarify its relationship with Mike Ashley, whose influence in the club seems to go beyond his 8.96 per cent stake. The board argue its association with Ashley’s Sports Direct, from which it has received over £10m in loans, provides “short to medium term financial stability”. After manager Kenny McDowall suggested he had to pick players on loan from Ashley-owned Newcastle United, it appeared the businessman was even influencing team selection. However the board have played down the level of his input in club affairs: It is important to note, contrary to media speculation, that neither Mr Mike Ashley nor Sports Direct International plc controls the Company. The Board is grateful for Mr Ashley’s support in the past, and hopes that this support will continue. The Company will, however, continue to make decisions independently of Sports Direct International plc but will co-operate with it and its affiliated companies for their mutual benefit. Joe Hall Sharecenter_img More From Our Partners Florida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.com‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.com Friday 6 February 2015 9:07 am Tags: Mergers and acquisitions Mike Ashley People whatsapplast_img read more

Merck Ebola vaccine wins speedier reviews by regulators

first_img In recent months, concerns over Ebola have been eclipsed by the spread of the Zika virus. Nearly 30,000 people were afflicted with Ebola, and more than 11,000 died as a result of the outbreak that began two years ago. Since then, the disease appears to have largely been contained, although health officials still worry about new outbreaks.Meanwhile, there are concerns that Zika transmission may spread rapidly as people flock to the upcoming Olympic games in Brazil, although the CDC believes this worry pertains to just a few countries. Meanwhile, the CDC earlier this month reported that a New York woman who contracted Zika marked the first time that the virus was known to have passed from a woman to a male sex partner.The Merck vaccine was initially developed by the Public Health Agency at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory and licensed to NewLink Genetics. In late 2014, when the Ebola outbreak peaked in Western Africa, Merck licensed the vaccine from NewLink Genetics.Merck, by the way, has also applied to the WHO for emergency use assessment, but has not yet heard back from the agency, the spokeswoman said.  This step would allow use of the vaccine if an international public health emergency is declared before the treatment is licensed by regulators. Tags EbolaMerckVaccines John Moore/Getty Images Please enter a valid email address. Privacy Policy Experimental Ebola vaccine could tamp out last embers of outbreak Leave this field empty if you’re human: PharmalotMerck Ebola vaccine wins speedier reviews by regulators The quest to develop an Ebola vaccine took a small but significant step forward as regulators on both sides of the Atlantic agreed to conduct speedier reviews of a treatment being developed by Merck.The US Food and Drug Administration granted what is known as a breakthrough therapy designation for the Merck vaccine, a status reserved for medicines designed to treat a serious or life-threatening illness. At the same time, the European Medicines Agency granted the vaccine Prime status, which refers to a treatment targeting an unmet medical need.The moves come as Merck looks to gather data from three separate clinical trials and submit the information later this year to regulators in hopes of winning approval to market and distribute its vaccine by the end of 2017.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for Pharmalot Your daily update on the drug industry. [email protected] Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Related: Three major studies are being led by public health officials in different African countries, a Merck spokeswoman noted. The World Health Organization is leading one study in Guinea, while the US National Institutes of Health is leading another in Sierra Leone and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is heading yet another study in Liberia.Last year, interim results from the study being conducted in New Guinea showed that the Merck vaccine, which is referred to as both VSV ZEBOV and V920, demonstrated the ability to cut the risk of infection in people. GlaxoSmithKline is also a running late-stage test to determine whether its own vaccine is effective against Ebola.advertisement @Pharmalot About the Author Reprints Ed Silverman By Ed Silverman July 25, 2016 Reprints A health worker in Liberia carries a child suspected of having Ebola in2014.last_img read more

Laois woman the face of new initiative to improve mental health in young people

first_img Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, is rolling out a new virtual cycle challenge called Revolution x Jigsaw with Róisín Dunne from Portlaoise one of the faces of the new campaign.Revolution x Jigsaw aims to get young aims to get people from across Ireland on their bike to cycle a combined 100,000 km and raise €100,000 for Jigsaw by 5pm on Thursday October 10, which is World Mental Health Day.Signing up to Revolution x Jigsaw is free and you can sign up today at www.revolutionxjigsaw.ie. GAA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook GAA Pinterest WhatsApp Twitter TAGSJigsaw mental health By Dáire McDonald – 11th September 2019 Facebook WhatsAppcenter_img Each person who signs up received their own personalised Revolution x Jigsaw iDonate fundraising page and ongoing support and assistance from Jigsaw.All funds raised go to support Jigsaw and their work supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people (aged 12-25) across Ireland.To support their work in strengthening communities to become more supportive of young people and their mental health and to also influence change to enable Jigsaw achieve its vision of an Ireland where every young person’s mental health is valued and supported.This is a fantastic initiative and is a great opportunity for the young community of Ireland to come together and do something positive for the future.SEE ALSO – Young Laois girl makes great start at World Paralympic Swimming Championships Here are all of Wednesday’s Laois GAA results Previous articleMake no mistake ‘The Lost Messiahs’ have arrivedNext articleThe Harps edge out Castletown to reach Junior hurling decider Dáire McDonald Laois woman the face of new initiative to improve mental health in young people Twitter Pinterest Home News Laois woman the face of new initiative to improve mental health in… News Kelly and Farrell lead the way as St Joseph’s claim 2020 U-15 glory GAA 2020 U-15 ‘B’ glory for Ballyroan-Abbey following six point win over Killeshinlast_img read more

BREAKING: 16 more Coronavirus deaths and 51 cases as Minister Harris says children to take socially distanced walks with grandparents

first_img Facebook Pinterest By Alan Hartnett – 19th May 2020 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Twitter Home News BREAKING: 16 more Coronavirus deaths and 51 cases as Minister Harris says… News 1,561 people have now died from Coronavirus in Ireland – an increase of 16 from yesterday.It is important to note that not all of these people passed away today and that this is the number that were reported to the Department of Health today.These people will have passed away in recent days and not just today.While there has been a total of 51 new cases of Coronavirus have been diagnosed in Ireland today.This is an increase on the 24,200 cases from yesterday and takes the overall total to 24,251. Electric Picnic Facebook TAGSCoronavirusCovid-19 Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role center_img Pinterest BREAKING: 16 more Coronavirus deaths and 51 cases as Minister Harris says children to take socially distanced walks with grandparents Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Twitter News As of midnight Monday 18 May, 295,626 tests have been carried out.Over the past week, 36,818 tests were carried out and of these 932 were positive, giving a positivity rate of 2.5%.Dr. Cillian De Gascun, Chair of the NPHET Expert Advisory Group, said: “Despite broadening the case definition and increases in referrals the positivity rate has continued to decline. This indicates a consistent suppression of COVID-19 in the community.”Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet again this week. Given the decreasing positivity rate and that testing capacity has been expanded, we will be examining the case definition further.”Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Today is World Family Doctor Day. GP’s continue to play a key role in Ireland’s response to this pandemic. General Practice is open and has continued to be a vital point of access to healthcare for all during this pandemic.”Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Sunday 17 May (24,176 cases), reveals:· 57% are female and 43% are male· the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years· 3,143 cases (13%) have been hospitalised· Of those hospitalised, 390 cases have been admitted to ICU· 7,661 cases are associated with healthcare workers· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 11,759 (49% of all cases) followed by Kildare with 1,379 cases (6%) and then Cork with 1,372 cases (5%)· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 60%, close contact accounts for 37%, travel abroad accounts for 3%Northern Ireland, the UK and globally There have been 7 further Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland, bringing official total to 489.There have been 20 new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the Northern Ireland total to 4,421.The UK Coronavirus death toll increased by 227 in past 24 hours, taking total recorded fatalities to 35,023. The youngest of today’s fatalities was just 7.There are now a total 4,938,000 cases of Coronavirus globally. There have been more than 321,000 deaths while 1,930,000 have recovered.Children can take walks with grandparents Minister Simon Harris says it is safe for grandparents to take a socially distanced walk with children.Speaking on Morning Ireland, Minister Harris was responding to a question on whether this was possible.He said: “This question gets me every time. It’s heartbreaking. It’s gut wrenching. It shows the cruelty of this virus.“There are grandparents who have not been able to hold their grandchildren.“There are also grandparents who have not seen newborns.“If you happen to live close to your grandchildren, it’s safe to take a walk with them with social distancing.“In three weeks time if we can move forward its safe for people who are cocooning to have someone in to visit their home.“The reason we can’t say you can safely hug a grandchild is because that act of love could actually cause someone to get very, very sick.”Rise in Coronavirus hospital patientsThe number of patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 has increased to 648, according to new figures from the Health Service Executive.The figures, which include all patients admitted up to last night, represent an increase of 79 patients compared with the situation on Sunday evening.See Full Report HerePremier LeagueThe Premier League has confirmed that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs. Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.Meanwhile, Watford striker Troy Deeney confirmed he would not be returning to training – citing confirms for his five month old baby who has breathing difficulties.Warning not to take Trump’s hydroxychloroquineA doctor has warned that patients with auto-immune diseases will be negatively impacted by a global stockpiling of hydroxychloroquine, after US President Donald Trump said he is taking it as a preventative measure against Covid-19.Consultant rheumatologist Dr Laura Durcan said there is “absolutely no data” that hydroxychloroquine is effective for use against the new coronavirus.Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sarah McInerney, Dr Durcan said taking the anti-malarial drug for use to prevent Covid-19 is “absolute lunacy”.See full report herePollutionResearchers at MaREI, the SFI research centre in energy, climate and marine at University College Cork (UCC), have published the first full picture of the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on Ireland’s energy related pollution levels.Among the findings is that pollution from cars has dropped by 50%, but air pollution from solid fuel burning has not changed. Private car activity levels have dropped by more than 85% since the lockdown began.The research says that every day is the weekend, as our electricity usage pattern now replicates a weekend demand profile 7 days a week.Important information Symptoms of Covid-19 include:CoughShortness of breathFeverBreathing difficulties.Further resources:The HSE: Official advice on the coronavirus in Ireland. This is being updated based on the number of confirmed cases and how the virus spreads in Ireland.The Department of Foreign Affairs: Official advice on where to avoid travelling to. Also a resource for those who are abroad.The World Health Organization (WHO): The UN agency on global public health publishes statements and daily situation reports based on the latest data.European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): The EU agency on the number of cases, deaths and how it’s spreading in Europe.The Johns Hopkins University map: A heat map of the confirmed cases across the world.A helpline for older people who are concerned about the coronavirus has been launched by Alone. The number is 0818 222 024, and it’s open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm.SEE ALSO – WATCH: Young Laois boy takes on the ‘Patience Challenge’ and smashes it Electric Picnic Previous articleWATCH: Laois community line the streets to welcome popular member home after winning 7-week Coronavirus battleNext articleCoronavirus Daily Noticeboard – Tuesday, May 19, 2020 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. WhatsApplast_img read more

Ottawa posts $2.3 billion deficit for August: Finance Canada

first_img The federal government saw its surplus for this fiscal year cut nearly in half as it ran a $2.3-billion deficit in August, according to the Depatment of Finance Canada’s monthly fiscal monitor. The result for August compared with a deficit of roughly $300 million in the same month last year. Canadian Press Ottawa’s surplus for the April-to-August period stood at $2.8 billion compared with a deficit of $1.1 billion for the same five-month period last year. The update to the government’s fiscal position comes as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau prepares to be sworn in as prime minister next week. The Liberals won the federal election earlier this month with a campaign promise to run deficits to fund billions in infrastructure spending. Slideshow: Trudeau’s top contenders for finance minister The spring federal budget had forecast a surplus of $1.4 billion for the current fiscal year, but the economy has grown at a slower pace than expected, raising concerns Ottawa will fall short of that mark. For August, government revenue was up $2.8 billion, or 14.6 per cent, from a year ago, while program spending was up by $4.4 billion, or 24.8 per cent from the same month last year. The increase in spending was due mainly to updated estimates related to pension and other employee and veteran benefit costs. Public debt charges for August increased by $500 million, or 23.5 per cent, from a year ago due in part to charges from a bond buyback. Alberta hopes higher oil prices will power recovery B.C. budget forecasts three years of billion-dollar deficits Related news Ontario budget promises billions in health care Keywords Budgets Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Users of Portmore Toll Road Satisfied with Service and Road Condition

first_imgRelatedUsers of Portmore Toll Road Satisfied with Service and Road Condition Advertisements RelatedUsers of Portmore Toll Road Satisfied with Service and Road Condition RelatedUsers of Portmore Toll Road Satisfied with Service and Road Conditioncenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Most users of the Portmore leg of Highway 2000 are pleased with the condition of the toll road, but more so, the pleasant and efficient service provided by the toll booth attendants.This was disclosed in a recent survey commissioned by the Toll Authority, to determine the level of satisfaction of users in respect of road condition, the quality of service given by toll booth attendants, delays at the t-Tag and cash booth, and safety on the toll road and at the booth. The survey was conducted by the Ministry of Transport and Works, on behalf of the Toll Authority.In nine of ten cases, respondents expressed positive levels of satisfaction with the toll road and the service received from the attendant.Chief Executive Officer of the Toll Authority, Joan Fletcher, informed that based on the survey, toll booth attendants are more highly regarded for the quality of service they provide, than the condition of the toll road, which nevertheless, was highly regarded by 68 per cent of respondents. This compares with 81 per cent, who said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the level of service by toll booth attendants.“Moreover, of those who said they are very satisfied with the condition of the toll road, approximately 92 per cent are either satisfied or very satisfied with the service of the toll booth attendants, describing them as pleasant and efficient”, said Mrs. Fletcher.There was also a significant difference in the response of men and women, with more females than males being either satisfied or very satisfied with the toll road. In addition, although not very significant, the survey provides some evidence that users were satisfied with the toll road even if they thought the condition of the roadway itself was bad or very bad.There was no correlation between the type of vehicle driven by the respondents and their satisfaction with the toll road, with most, regardless of the type of vehicle, indicating that the condition of the roadway was satisfactory, good or very good.Delays on the toll road greatly influenced the level of satisfaction of respondents. The shorter the delays, the higher the level of satisfaction, while the longer the delays, the lower the level of satisfaction expressed by respondents in the survey.Approximately one third of the users surveyed indicated that they experienced delays of between five minutes and more than 20 minutes at the toll booths, with the most frequent reason given being traffic volume. The second most frequent reason was ‘incidents’, with malfunctioning toll readers, pedestrians, bicycles and tag sales among the other more common causes of delay.Safety was also important in the assessment of the toll road, as about two-thirds of the respondents said they felt safe when driving on the toll road. Although t-Tag users might have gone through the toll plaza quicker, overall, their travel time was in many instances the same as motorists using the cash method, the survey revealed. Users of Portmore Toll Road Satisfied with Service and Road Condition UncategorizedDecember 23, 2008last_img read more

Font Hill Property to be divested

first_imgRelatedFont Hill Property to be divested RelatedFont Hill Property to be divested RelatedFont Hill Property to be divested Font Hill Property to be divested TechnologyApril 26, 2010center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, has announced that the Government will be divesting the Font Hill property in St. Elizabeth to facilitate development.Minister Robertson spoke with JIS News while touring a section of the 3,000-acre property in Crawford, in the parish on Friday (April 23), accompanied by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, and Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Mr. Frank Witter.In outlining the development possibilities that exist for Font Hill, which is owned by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), Mr. Robertson said, “The Font Hill property is ideal for a high-end tourism and new town development, with beach front, golf courses, and air-strips. But the surrounding communities will have to be accommodated. Minister Tufton has been telling me of a sport complex, with a vision of a stadium for the community. The area sits on the edge of the Font Hill property, and the development of a sport complex would not affect the value of the property, so I am in support of it”.Meanwhile, Dr. Christopher Tufton said, “we are committed to working together to ensure that the property is developed, it will create jobs for the people of the area, and the recreation requirements. When the development takes place, there is going to be a greater demand for housing, and recreation. The anticipation in the medium term is, we will see this area more populated, in a way that creates value for the people”.Mr. Witter agreed, remarking that the divestment and development of the Font Hill property will add to, and create more opportunities for residents of St. Elizabeth. “For a very long time we have been trying to develop South coast tourism and the Minister’s plan is in the right direction. Investment in tourism will bring greater opportunities for the people of the entire parish,” Mr. Witter said. Advertisementslast_img read more

SRIT Graduates First Batch of Police Trainers

first_imgRelatedSRIT Graduates First Batch of Police Trainers RelatedSRIT Graduates First Batch of Police Trainers FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Strategic Review Implementation Team (SRIT) graduated its first batch of trainers, who are expected to lead the charge in improving the level of professionalism and accountability within the Force, Tuesday (August 10).The 64 trainers received their certification during a graduation ceremony at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.Over the last 12 months, 80 per cent of JCF managerial staff has been trained in leadership and staff development. They are expected to lead a structured process of training police rank and file officers.Director of Business Development and Communication at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Glynis Salmon (right), presents a plaque to Team Leader of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Strategic Review Implementation Team (SRIT), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Novelette Grant (right), during a certification ceremony for 64 trainers at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, Tuesday (August 10). The training programme, aimed at improving professionalism within the police force, was delivered by MIND.Team Leader of SRIT, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Novelette Grant, noted that police personnel operate in a dynamic environment where needs and expectations change, and this calls for greater responsiveness and accountability from the JCF.“Our responsibility is to work with you, to transform the organisation into a professional service that is respected and trusted by the people of Jamaica,” she told the trainers. She added that part of that responsibility was the reinforcement of ethical standards among police personnel.She pointed to several training manuals prepared by the SRIT, which deal with topics such as ethics, human rights and firearms policy, customer service and domestic violence, and charged them to abide by the standards set out in the guides.Participant in the programme, Inspector Nadine Grant-Brown, expressed thanks to SRIT for organising the training sessions and gave a commitment, on behalf of her colleagues, to help to transform the Jamaica Constabulary Force “in a new era of policing”.Director of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET), Bertrant Laurent, presents Julett Williams Watson with her certificate, after she completed a training programme aimed at improving professionalism within the police force, during a graduation ceremony Tuesday (August 10), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. Sixty-four persons graduated from the programme organised by the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Strategic Review Implementation Team (SRIT).Another participant, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Wayne Cameron, delivered a charge to his fellow graduates.“I implore you to adopt the good principles of a trainer. Strive to improve your competencies, strive also to be intrinsically motivated and, above all, be performance driven,” he urged.The programme was funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET) and delivered by the Management Institute for National development (MIND). RelatedSRIT Graduates First Batch of Police Trainerscenter_img SRIT Graduates First Batch of Police Trainers National SecurityAugust 11, 2010 Advertisementslast_img read more

Governor, Republican Leaders Announce Budget Deal

first_imgHELENA – Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer held a rare joint news conference with Republican legislative leaders Friday evening to announce a breakthrough in budget talks, with both sides signing documents promising to stick to a deal that was hailed as a hard-fought compromise.Schweitzer, a Democrat who has sometimes driven past Republican legislative leaders to the point of frustration, shook hands with Senate President Jim Peterson and House Speaker Mike Milburn on a budget package that gives both sides a little and ensures a speedy wrap to a legislative session marked by strong differences.A key sticking point had been Republicans’ refusal to accept about $100 million in federal money for social programs largely aimed at the elderly, poor and disabled — such as the Big Sky Rx program that helps seniors buy prescription drugs. All of that money will be accepted under the compromise, Schweitzer said.Peterson said the budget does cut spending of state tax money, known as general fund spending. That had been a high priority for the GOP.The Legislature reconvenes Tuesday, and both sides expect the budget deal will be quickly finalized.Schweitzer will be issuing an “amendatory veto” of the Republican budget submitted to him 10 days ago. The leaders will take that to floor votes in each chamber and promise not to make any further changes.“Every word in that amendatory veto has been agreed to by the three of us,” Schweitzer said.Both sides said long hours have been spent each day negotiating. The Republican legislative leaders were seen earlier Friday huddled with a small group of staffers, going over details, as the rest of the Legislature was sent home on recess Wednesday to allow for the leaders to talk at length.Specifics were bare late Friday. Neither side knew exactly how much of the critical general fund money the budget would cut compared with Schweitzer’s original proposal.Detailed analysis was expected to be available Monday.But Peterson said the general fund spending for the budget that will cover July 2011 through June 2013 would be reduced 6 percent from the current spending period.“I feel like we have reached a good compromise,” said Peterson, a rancher from Buffalo. “I am hoping that next week will be a short week and we can all go home.”Schweitzer has taken his fair share of shots at the Republican-led Legislature, such as taking a hot cattle brand reading “VETO” to a slate of GOP bills he called “kooky” and labeling the body “bat-crap crazy.” And Republicans have often been less than enamored with Schweitzer — sitting with almost no applause through the State of the State Speech he delivered early in the session.But both sides were mostly smiles Friday night.“We were able to get some things we wanted and in the end the governor was able to get some things he wanted,” Peterson said.Both sides said key companion bills — led by a bill that provides for small increase in K-12 funding in part by forcing gas-and-oil rich eastern Montana districts to share excess funds — will be quickly moved out of the Legislature next week.Milburn said he was even going to resurrect for another vote a small pay increase Schweitzer negotiated with state employees. But Milburn said amendments could be expected, such as one tying the increase to proof that state revenues are increasing rather than declining.“I think in the end we have a good product,” Milburn said. “It’s been hard work, but it’s been civil.” Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

Safest in the Industry

first_imgCOLUMBIA FALLS — There was plenty for SmartLam president and general manager Casey Malmquist to be proud of as he stood in front of his employees at the mill in the middle of the afternoon.They’d taken a break from their shift duties creating cross-laminated timber to sit together and be recognized — by their boss, and also by the American Plywood Association — for having built the safest work environment of all companies in the industry with three or fewer member mills.The Safest Company 2017 Award means SmartLam has the best track record for safety out of the roughly 90 eligible mills in the category, according to APA Director of Quality Services Division Steve Zylkowski.It’s an important award, he said, because it was born out of a need to make the entire wood-products industry safer. There were already awards for the best products and services, but there needed to be a focus on the workers as well as what they built.“Thirty-five years ago, our industry said we needed to focus on safety,” Zylkowski said during the award presentation at SmartLam last week. “It was not uncommon in a plywood mill for people to lose a finger or an arm or get crushed.”The APA and other industry leaders created safety programs and awards to highlight the companies doing right by their workers, to call out good behavior when they saw it.“That’s what you are— you’re a model for the rest of the industry,” Zylkowski told the SmartLam employees. “We want to celebrate the successes when they happen.”To determine the winners, the APA Safety and Health Awards use a calculation taking into consideration the number of health and safety incidents and their severity at a mill, as well as the time lost to injury or restricted work due to incidents. SmartLam had the best record overall, and Malmquist told his employees that the award is due to their continued hard work ensuring they keep themselves and their coworkers safe.The culture of watching out for one another at SmartLam is a big reason this award will hang on their wall, he said.“This is a significant recognition of what you have done,” Malmquist said. “Inherently, there is a lot that can go wrong, given the size and logistics of our product, and thankfully because of all your efforts, that hasn’t happened.” Malmquist also credited Scott Blair, SmartLam’s quality control manager and safety lead, with fostering a safer environment through programs and a focus on maintaining worker wellness. It’s an investment the company believes in; healthy employees are more productive.And productivity is more important at SmartLam than ever. The company is expanding from its 40,000-square-foot facility behind Western Building Center to a 140,000-square-foot former lumber mill, adding $15 million worth of new equipment. Malmquist said last week he expects to be in the new facility by the end of the year, with rounds of hiring after that.SmartLam is building the new co-op in Bozeman, and is providing cross-laminated timber for the flagship McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago. The company also provided the first hardwood CLT for an award-winning public sculpture called the “Conversation Plinth” in Indiana. There are also plans to open a SmartLam plant in Maine in 2020 or 2021.With so much happening and coming up, it’s important to stop and remember the importance of safety in the mills.“In the new plant, there will be four to five times the production capacity, which translates to the potential for worker accidents,” Malmquist said.Once they received the award, the SmartLam employees took a group photo, and then passed around the framed certificate. It was hoisted overhead for cheers several times, and there were certainly selfies.Malmquist said the company rewarded its employees in 2014 for a year without accidents with a jacket and a patch noting the accomplishment. As of last week, he wasn’t sure what the reward for the employees would be this year, but he was already brainstorming. He knew they deserved the recognition for making the right choices at the right time, which ends up making everyone at SmartLam look good.“It literally comes down to what you decide to do in that moment,” Malmquist said. “We’re extremely proud.” Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more