Ocean City Board of Education presents a school budget that meets the needs of the students with a slight savings for the 2020-21 school year, officials say. By MADDY VITALEThe Ocean City Board of Education introduced a school budget for the 2020-21 school year that keeps school taxes stable.The total budget is $41,555,147, down from $41.6 million last year. The bulk of the funding for the spending plan will come from $23.8 million in local tax revenue, School Business Administrator Timothy Kelley explained Monday.Kelley presented the proposed budget during the March 18 Board of Education meeting. He called it a solid budget.The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 will pay roughly $1,080 in local school taxes for the year, about the same as last year’s figure.Homeowners will see a decrease in their school tax bills of $5 for the year under the new budget.Some of the areas Kelley looks at when creating a budget include the district’s strategic plan, classroom needs, operational needs and state-mandated requirements and programs, he noted.“We try to present a budget that is responsible and also meets the district’s and the students’ needs,” Kelley said.He explained how there were some savings in this year’s preliminary budget.“This past year the school district paid off some bonds that were issued for the Intermediate School improvements, so that decreased the amount for debt service,” Kelley said.Timothy Kelley, school business administrator, has presented a budget that does not have a tax increase for the fifth year in a row.With the proposed school budget, the projected tax rate is 0.215 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, down from 0.216 in the 2019 budget.Ocean City’s tax base has gone up by $107 million this year, giving the city nearly $12 billion in tax ratables, which helped the district present a budget without an increase in the school tax rate.While there is a healthy ratable base in the community, the district continues to wrestle with declining enrollment.There are 2,150 students currently, which includes about 193 students from the School Choice Program.The program allows students from outside of Ocean City to attend the school district and for the 2020-21 school year it will contribute $2.6 million to the overall budget.“Every year we face declining enrollment and that means less revenue coming in from sending districts. That being said, the overall tax rate is the same tax rate that was presented to the voters back in 2013,” School Board President Joseph Clark said in an interview.Clark commended Kelley for presenting another school budget that is prudent, while still providing the many services Ocean City students and families come to expect.“Tim has done an amazing job. He looks at five to 10 years into the future. He looks at what the other districts are doing,” Clark said.He continued, “We are very blessed that we are in a community that is maintaining a steady ratable increase and our property taxes are remaining steady. We are being very prudent with expenditures.”Clark said one of the ways that the district has made sure to hold down expenses is by reducing the budgets by 5 percent in all three schools — the high school, intermediate school and primary school.“What has helped us sustain the programs is the steady increase in the ratables,” Clark added. “We live under the 2 percent cap and we are giving back to the taxpayer.”A public hearing on the proposed budget and a final vote by the board are scheduled at the Board of Education meeting on April 29 at 7 p.m.However, that date could change amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with schools closed until further notice.
A multi-million pound fund to make it easier for teachers to find high-quality lesson plans and resources and cut unnecessary workload has been launched today by School Standards Minister Nick Gibb.The first round of £7.7million Curriculum Fund will provide grants to schools to help them share teaching resources with other schools, saving teachers from having to repeatedly create lessons plans from scratch.It comes after research by the Department for Education found that many teachers feel lesson planning creates unnecessary workload and that they want easy access to practical resources that will help them put together innovative and effective lessons.The initiative is the latest step by the department to meet the Government’s manifesto commitment to provide schools with tools that will cut unnecessary workload, freeing them up to focus on what matters most – teaching.Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb said: Since the £7.7m Curriculum Fund was first announced in January, the Department for Education has worked with school leaders, teachers and experts from across the profession to understand how teachers plan lessons and use resources such as textbooks – with research showing that teachers feel lesson planning continues to result in unnecessary workload. Schools can apply from today for grant funding to share their high quality curriculum programmes.The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has pledged to champion the teaching profession and to work with teaching unions and Ofsted to reduce workload in schools – and in his first keynote speech at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) conference in March 2018 he set out his intention to use the Curriculum Fund to make it easier for schools and teachers to share and access high-quality resources.The opening of the application window, which closes on 17 September, follows a number of recent announcements to help schools free their staff from unnecessary and time-consuming tasks, including: This fund will help great schools share resources that they know are effective. This will help to spread excellent teaching practices and continue the drive to raise standards in our schools. the publication of School Snapshot Survey which, among other things, shows that 73% of the classroom teachers and senior leaders surveyed reported that their school has taken action to review or update school policies to improve workload and 67% reported that their school has taken action to change or reduce marking. the launch of a workload reduction toolkit – an online resource providing practical advice and examples to help staff in schools take action to reduce workload; the publication of a report, ‘Use and Perceptions of Curriculum Support Resources in Schools’; and Having easy access to high quality curriculum resources will not just save teachers time, it will make it easier for them to deliver knowledge-rich and engaging lessons that help young people to acquire the knowledge and skills they need.
Bakery and café chain Le Pain Quotidien has been sold in a pre-pack deal.Immediately after the appointment of administrators last Thursday (11 June), the UK business and assets for 15 of the chain’s 26 sites were sold to BrunchCo UK Limited.However, Le Pain Quotidien’s (LPQ) head office and 11 remaining sites were closed immediately, resulting in 200 redundancies. The remaining 333 staff have been transferred to BrunchCo.BrunchCo UK is a subsidiary of BrunchCo 21 SA, a newly formed holding company majority owned by Belgian private equity investors M80. The company is also acquiring the Belgian and French assets of LPQ as well as its brand and the international franchises.LPQ, like many hospitality businesses, has struggled with tough market conditions for a number of years, according to administrators Alvarez & Marsal.In its latest full-year filing at Companies House, for the year to 31 December 2018, LPQ reported a 4% year-on-year drop in revenue to £38m, making a loss of £700,000. At the time, the company referred to reduced footfall and cost pressures.The administrators added that the Covid-19 outbreak had exacerbated the situation.BrunchCo is now holding talks with LPQ’s remaining landlords regarding the structure of its lease agreements and the future of the remaining sites.The new owner said it planned to make “significant investments” in LPQ to create a sustainable future for the UK business.“This acquisition secures the brand’s future in the UK, and we hope to conclude the restructuring process within the next few days,” said joint administrator Rob Croxen.“We appreciate the support of LPQ’s employees at this difficult time.”
Tedeschi Trucks Band will continue their fall tour tonight, November 15th, in Louisville, KY. 2016 has been a tough year for music fans, with too many legends lost to count. The past weekend took two more from the Earth, in Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell. The two greats have influenced so many current musicians, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band has had the opportunity to show their appreciation while on the road.As TTB played three shows last weekend, the group had the opportunity to honor both artists’ legacies. The run started last Friday, November 11th, when Tedeschi Trucks opened up their fall tour run in Minneapolis, MN. There they included their cover of “Bird On The Wire,” a song written by the great Leonard Cohen.Listen to a full recording of the 11/11 performance featuring “Bird On The Wire,” courtesy of Jam Buzz.Setlist: Don’t Know What, Within You Without You > Just As Strange, The Sky Is Crying, Crying Over, Bird On The Wire, I Wish I Knew, Let Me Get By, Leavin’ Trunk, Laugh About It, Get What You Deserve, I Pity The Fool, I Want MoreEncore: Let’s Go Get StonedThe run continued with a performance in Peoria, IL on Sunday November 13th, the night after news broke of Leon Russell’s death. Having collaborated with Russell numerous times in the past, the loss of their musical colleague certainly influenced their song selection. The band opened up with “Space Captain,” a tune from the Mad Dogs & Englishmen album on which Russell was the musical director. They also encored with “Delta Lady,” another tune from the Mad Dogs release.Watch videos of “Space Captain” and “Delta Lady,” streaming below, courtesy of YouTube user Rick Maddox.
Dumpstaphunk was firing on all of their funkiest cylinders at their Suwannee Rising Music Festival set on Saturday. Ivan Neville and his stellar band are no strangers to making the crowd at the Spirit Of The Suwannee move and groove, with over twenty fan-favorite appearances in the park to date. The practice has clearly made them the perfect band to bring the noise on a sunny afternoon. They were certainly happy to be back and even happier to be playing their own music and not the cover sets for which they were usually recruited to play at the now-defunct Wannee Festival.In years past, Dumpstaphunk’s April appearances at the Suwannee have been dominated by cover sets paying tribute to bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sly & The Family Stone. Those were cool…but it was clearly more enjoyable for them to put a little Dumpsta in their phunk.With a strong element of down-and-dirty jams from artists like Oteil Burbridge, The New Mastersounds and Ghost-Note preceding them at the festival, Dumpstaphunk got to play to a crowd that was warmed up and ready to dance. The band took full advantage of the opportunity, even recruiting Ghost-Note bassist MonoNeon to join them alongside their other guests, the Naughty Professor horns, in putting on a wild and wooly set that perfectly encapsulated the vibe this new fest is seeking to establish.With weapons like Ian Neville and Tony Hall on guitar, Devin Trusclair on the drum kit and Nick Daniels on bass, Ivan Neville didn’t need any outside help to funk things up—but hey, it’s not a party unless your friends come over and play! You can check out some of the set’s highlights, including an epic “Up For The Down Stroke”, below thanks to Rex-A-Vision! Enjoy!Dumpstaphunk w/ MonoNeon – “Up For The Down Stroke” [Parliament cover]Dumpstaphunk – “I Wish You Would”Dumpstaphunk – “Justice” MonoNeon and the Dumpstaphunk crew will all be in action around New Orleans late into the night during this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In addition to the official festivities on the fairgrounds, musicians from New Orleans and beyond will deliver a number of exciting nighttime shows during the week-and-change encompassed by Jazz Fest.Jazz Fest 2019 After Dark: L4LM Top PicksCheck out a list of Live For Live Music‘s various night shows during Jazz Fest below. For more information, or to grab your tickets today before they’re all gone, head here.
Notre Dame filed a religious liberty lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that requires employers to provide contraceptive services in their minimum health insurance packages. The mandate is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform legislation, passed in 2010. The University filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Court documents list the defendants as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solid, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their respective departments. University President Fr. John Jenkins defended the University’s position in a statement today, saying the University filed the lawsuit “with sober determination” to defend religious freedom. “Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about: it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the government from providing such services,” Jenkins said. “As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs … This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives.” Under the original plan announced Jan. 20, religious employers were exempt from providing contraceptives as part of the free preventive services in their minimum insurance package. However, the plan defined “religious employers” narrowly – while places of worship were exempt, religiously affiliated institutions, including universities like Notre Dame, were not. HHS granted these institutions one year to comply with the legislation’s specifications. Obama announced a compromise in February that would shift responsibility for funding contraception from religiously affiliated institutions to insurance companies. The government will be responsible for defining which institutions are included in this compromise, which was unclear regarding self-insured companies. The University is self-insured. The lawsuit states that the federal mandate is irreconcilable with the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other laws protecting religious freedom. “For if we conceded that the government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions,” Jenkins said. University Spokesman Dennis Brown said the government has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit. Attempts to contact HHS representatives have not yet been successful. Notre Dame’s lawsuit was one of 12 filed today against the federal government by 43 plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the regulation, a University press release stated. “The other lawsuits were filed by dioceses and archdioceses in conjunction with Catholic schools and universities, Catholic health systems and Catholic charitable organizations,” Brown said. The Associated Press reported the Archdioceses of Washington, New York and Michigan were among the plaintiffs, as well as the Catholic University of America. Jenkins said the University would continue its discussions with Sebelius and other government officials to resolve the issue. “We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others,” Jenkins said. “We simply ask that the government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings.”
Newly engaged Phillipa Soo stopped by The Today Show on February 18 to chat about a musical you might just have heard of called Hamilton. How is she enjoying playing Eliza Hamilton in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s gargantuan hit? “I’ve been with it for almost two years now. You’re kind of trying to find new ways in every night and for me it’s like those little backstage moments where you just kind of have a little fun backstage before you have to rush on.” The eyes of the world were on the company over the weekend when the company performed on the Grammy telecast. “It was nice that we were in our theater,” Soo revealed. “It felt like our own hometown version of the Grammys.” Check out the interview below. As if you didn’t know already, Hamilton is playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Phillipa Soo Hamilton Star Files Related Shows from $149.00 View Comments Phillipa Soo
A literature review by University of Georgia researchers has helped identify the most effective antimicrobial agents for preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the food supply chain.As COVID-19 began to spread throughout the U.S. earlier this year, Govind Kumar, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology and a faculty member in the UGA Center for Food Safety, Laurel Dunn and Abhinav Mishra, assistant professors in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and Center for Food Safety Director Francisco Diez collaborated to determine ways they could contribute to the knowledge base for members of the food industry regarding the novel coronavirus.“Meat manufacturing plants began to shut down because so many people in these industries were getting sick. We are not virologists, but this is a medical problem that definitely affected the food chain,” Kumar said.With information and scientific studies about the virus being released at a rapid rate, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researchers decided to examine relevant studies to identify and share practicable information for use in the food industry. The research team looked at studies on a range of biocides effective in eliminating or reducing the presence of coronaviruses from surfaces that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils and furniture, as well as skin, mucous membranes, air and food contact materials.After reviewing and synthesizing the information from more than 100 sources, the online journal Frontiers in Microbiology published the researchers’ findings in “Biocides and Novel Antimicrobial Agents for the Mitigation of Coronaviruses” in late June.“We wanted to go through the whole food supply chain — from processing to packaging to retail — to look at interventions to limit the spread of coronaviruses. This is not limited to handwashing, but looks at everything — how you can remove it from the air, from food contact surfaces. We asked a lot of tough questions and we feel we have answered those in this paper,” Kumar said.Since it was published, the paper has received interest from all over the world. According to the journal, the article has more views than 67% of all Frontiers articles on the website at frontiersin.org.“One of the main research areas we work on is the development of novel sanitizers and I do a lot of outreach on their proper use,” said Dunn. “For me, it has been industry — mostly in Georgia, but others from around the world — who stumbled on this and had questions.”The research team specifically focused on the effects of alcohols, povidone iodine, quaternary ammonium compounds, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), peroxyacetic acid (PAA), chlorine dioxide, ozone, ultraviolet light, metals and plant-based antimicrobials. The review highlights the differences in the resistance or susceptibility of different strains of coronaviruses, or similar viruses, to these antimicrobial agents. The team also worked with microbiologists Charles Gerba and Kelly Bright from the University of Arizona who are currently performing research on detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.While the review reinforced the effectiveness of certain antimicrobials — such as bleach and alcohol — on surfaces, it also addressed studies on agents that can be used to protect workers themselves.“A lot of what I’ve gotten have been questions about what can be used on the skin. We got crazy questions like, ‘Can we spray our workers with chemicals?’ A lot of questions have been about what steps they can take in certain types of facilities. It is not necessarily about sanitizer selection, but what to do in general,” said Dunn, who does outreach and extension work in on-farm and packinghouse microbial safety.While handwashing and the use of sanitizers are commonly implemented practices in food production plants, to address the spread of COVID-19 from asymptomatic workers, who often work in crowded conditions, the team focused on a number of studies of two substances — povidone iodine and iota carrageenan — that were of particular interest in preventing person-to-person transmission of coronaviruses.“Povidone iodine is very effective against coronaviruses and, in Europe and Asia, people use povidone iodine for oral rinses and nasal sprays. Because this is an airborne virus, the first place it goes is into the nose and it attaches to the cell receptors in the nose,” Kumar said.A seaweed-based antimicrobial polymer, iota carrageenan is commonly used as a food thickener and, in a 2018 study, demonstrated the ability to inhibit coronaviruses and other respiratory viruses.“When sprayed in the nose in nasal spray form, iota carrageenan can form a protective film over the nasal membranes and keep the virus from attaching,” Kumar said.While not performing any direct research, Kumar and Dunn said the synthesis of information from a variety of studies — some from this year and others done over the past 20 years — can serve as a sort of “CliffsNotes” for industry members seeking the most relevant and useful information on preventing transmission of COVID-19.“We were very excited about that and we want to get that information out for industry to investigate further or do more research,” Kumar said.The group shared their findings with Atlanta-area anesthesiologist Constantine Kokenes, with whom they connected when donating personal protective equipment from their labs to local frontline healthcare workers, an effort spearheaded by Dunn.Through conversations with Kumar, Kokenes obtained and studied papers about the potential benefits of povidone iodine rinses and iota carrageenan nasal spray. Using specific formulations, he purchased the materials and mixed his own preparations to use when treating and intubating COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit at Emory Decatur Hospital.“Before elective surgeries were cancelled — from early March through mid-April — I did this for six weeks,” said Kokenes, who also followed recommendations to protect himself, including using masks and face shields and shaving his beard of 30 years to ensure a proper seal on his face mask.“I did this for my own good. It is only logical and rational to explore all options and protect yourself,” he said. “There is a lot of groundwork that has been done since the early to mid-2000s after the first SARS and MERS virus outbreaks. Dr. Kumar and his team have been on top of that.”The team’s full paper is available at www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01351/full#F2. More information on the Center for Food Safety is available at cfs.caes.uga.edu.
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act, the legislation that established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands. Congress, through this Act, recognized the importance of Wilderness as a resource for generations to come.In celebration of this anniversary, The Southern Appalachian Office of The Wilderness Society wants you to get out and enjoy the Wilderness Areas near you!The Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge is a chance for you to visit the wildest places that are preserved by The Wilderness Act. Log 10+ miles in 12 Wilderness Areas in the Southeast, show us and tell us about it, and you could win outdoor swag.The Challenge? Hike 10+ miles in 12 Wilderness Areas in the Southeast.Eligible states include: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia (Participants may piece together 10+ miles in a Wilderness Area over several shorter hikes, particularly if a Wilderness Area’s size does not permit a single 10-mile hike. They may consider round-trip mileage toward the 10+-mile requirement.)How to Join the Challenge:• Register to participate via the Dirty Dozen Hike Challenge online form at www.southeastwilderness50.org.• Submit the Hike Experience Submission Form online for each hike you complete. This form must be submitted along with required photo for each of the Wilderness Areas you hike.• You will be asked to submit one photo for each Wilderness Area hike you complete. Send a photo of your hike: of you on your hike, or something awesome you saw along the trail. You can also submit additional photos with your Hike Experience Submission Form, which will be considered for our best photo prizes at the end of the challenge.Some hike experiences and photos may be selected for inclusion on the southeastwilderness50.org blog and/or in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine coverage throughout the year.A list of Wilderness Areas within the Southeast, including maps, and all hike challenge details can be found online at www.southeastwilderness50.org/dirty-dozenSwag:Those who sign up for the challenge will receive an official Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge sticker. Those who complete the challenge will receive an embroidered patch and may be eligible for additional prizes.Connect!Check out experiences from other Dirty Dozen challenge participants, and share your wilderness moments on social media. On Twitter or Instagram, use #dirtydozenhikechallenge and #wearethewild, and like the hike challenge Facebook page to stay connected.Prize Winners:In addition to recognizing all of those who complete the Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge, additional winners will be recognized in the following categories:• Finished First• Hiked the Most Miles• Hiked in the Most Wilderness Areas• Hiked in the Most States• Best Hike Photos• Most Creative Hike Experience DescriptionsA celebration event will be held to congratulate those who complete the challenge. Some of those who participate in or complete the challenge may also be featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine throughout the year. Winner of the best hike photos and most creative hike descriptions will be recognized in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine.
Some events stand the test of time and carve strong enduring memories. The Little Tybee Challenge is one of these races for me. The diversity of the race course is second to none. Starting in a powerful tidal river, the course then jogs into a super narrow and twisty tidal creek before leading you out into the Atlantic thru a surf zone surrounded by sand bars and technical options. Once into the Atlantic a short sprint takes you back into the tidal river and the finish line. The near 8 mile circumnavigation of most of Little Tybee Island takes the fastest of paddlers a little under 50 minutes and requires a unique set of skills to excel across the range of challenges the race course has to offer.After a strong win at this race in 2014 I knew I’d have a target on my back but I also knew I didn’t have the same level of fitness I had last year. I’d have to play defense. After a confused starting procedure and a strong effort off the line, I found myself leading into the tight and technical tidal creek and interrupted a large pod of dolphin playing in the fast moving waters. Once into the creek, it’s very hard to overtake anyone but I could hear the relentless chase of Eric Mims close behind. But as a wildwater paddler, reading and executing these tight turns would mean a small advantage for me.So the question was whether to gut myself and extend my tenuous lead or conserve energy for the later stages of the race. I choose to gut myself. Exiting the tidal creek and entering the ocean, I had approximately 1 minute up on Eric, but now in the ocean, the tables were turned and Eric was in his home environment with the advantage and was closing the gap fast. Seeing a near shore deep water gutter, I surfed into the beach to take the short cut but not before Eric saw me make the turn and gave chase. Once thru the moving water and heading back into the tidal river, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with Eric for the final mile or more to the finish. Sadly, I could not respond to his mastery of using every ocean bump to his advantage and I was also paying the price for pushing hard in the creek. Eric snagged victory by a tad over a minute in a masterful paddle. Mark Volkmann also put in a great effort to take a solid third place after using his intimate knowledge of the area to his advantage to secure the final podium spot.The Little Tybee Challenge never disappoints and I will be back for the 18th annual race in 2016. More information, results and media can be found at http://tybeekayakrace.blogspot.com/—Our BRO Athlete series is powered by Great Outdoor Provision Co., The Hub, Crozet Running, Brown Jeep, Proformance, and the Blue Ridge Cyclery.