Analyst highlights persecution

first_imgChristians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today, according to the International Society for Human Rights, which says 80 percent of all religious acts of discrimination target Christians. In his talk Monday night titled “The Global War on Christians,” CNN’s senior Vatican analyst John Allen highlighted countries experiencing heavy persecution of Christians today and debunked myths about such conflicts while arguing that the American Church can take a bigger role in addressing these heinous acts. Allen’s address was the second keynote address of the “Seed of the Church” conference on Christian martyrs. “We are talking in my opinion about the most dramatic, most compelling, most urgent Christian narrative of our time,” Allen said. Allen said according to the Pew Forum, persecution of Christians occurs in 133 countries. According to Aid to the Church in Need, about 150,000 Christians have been killed in religious conflict each year of the 21st century. “In the hour that we are going to be together tonight, somewhere on this planet, 11 Christians are losing their lives,” Allen said. “This number is not only astonishing but obscene.” One place Allen described as an epicenter of Christian persecution is Iraq. Even though this region was an integral part of the early Church, Iraq’s Christian population has shrunk from between one and a half and two million in 1991 to fewer than 450,000 today, Allen said. “A Church that took two millennia to construct has been gutted essentially in two decades,” he said. Since American intervention in Iraq has exacerbated sectarian tensions, putting Christians at greater risk for persecution, Allen said the American Church has an obligation to assist Iraqi Christians. “Given what we profess as Catholics and given the responsibility we bear as Americans, the fact that the situation facing the Church in Iraq is not a … top-of-the-brain concern for the Catholic Church in the United States is nothing less than a moral scandal,” he said. “Our failure to apply our last best efforts to meaningful gestures of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Iraq is quite simply inexcusable.” Allen said most people falsely believe Christian persecution can only come from regions where Muslim extremism is prevalent. “If somehow tomorrow, radical Islam were to disappear, the threats to Christians would hardly be gone,” he said. “What we face is a bewildering cocktail of threats.” Some threatening groups include radical Hindus in India, nationalists in Turkey and even radical Christians, Allen said. Christians can also be persecuted in countries such as Mexico where they are the overwhelming religious majority, he said. Another myth about Christian persecution is it is a political issue, Allen said. “If we are going to take a clear-eyed look at the global war on Christians, we cannot try to see it through the funhouse mirror of secular politics,” he said. Most of all, Allen said Americans can support persecuted Christians abroad merely by being mindful of their situation. When he interviewed Christian Syrian refugees in Lebanon during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Beirut, Allen said they all agreed on how Western Christians could help them. “Do you want to know the number one must popular answer by far they gave me that they said would make the most tangible and appreciable difference to them?” he said. “The answer was, ‘Don’t forget about us.’ … You and I cannot solve the problems of the world. We can’t make the violence in Syria go away tomorrow, but we can try to find creative ways to broadcast the message that we have not forgotten them and that we are paying attention.” Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more

Sept. 27 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National Point Standings

first_imgIMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 1,198; 2. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 1,194; 3. Cody Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 1,171; 4. Tathan Burkhart, Hays, Kan., 1,168; 5. Justin Luinenburg, Reading, Minn., 1,161; 6. Tim Gonska, Brainerd, Minn., 1,156; 7. Corey Madden, Avoca, Iowa, Cody Williams, Minneapolis, Kan., and Leah Wroten, Independence, Iowa, each 1,155; 10. Adam Goff, Minot, N.D., 1,153; 11. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 1,145; 12. Kaden Reynolds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1,143; 13. Brady J. Bencken, Oakley, Kan., 1,131; 14. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids, Iowa, 1,113; 15. John Watson, Des Moines, Iowa, 1,112; 16. Cameron Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,105; 17. Daniel Wauters, West Branch, Iowa, 1,097; 18. Zach Ankrum, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,088; 19. Chuck Madden Jr., Avoca, Iowa, 1,085; 20. Roy Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb., 1,083.  IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Kenneth Duke, Selinsgrove, Pa., 781; 2. Scott Lutz, Jonestown, Pa., 770; 3. Jake Martens, Fairview, Okla., and Tyler Drueke, Eagle, Neb., both 754; 5. Billy Johnson, St. Peter, Minn., 751; 6. Mike Houseman, Des Moines, Iowa, 747; 7. Zach Newlin, Millerstown, Pa., 746; 8. Drew Ritchey, Everett, Pa., and Mike Moore, Des Moines, Iowa, both 737; 10. Brett Allen, Gaylord, Minn., 727; 11. Colin Smith, Sheldon, Iowa, and Ryan Lynn, Hollidaysburg, Pa., both 725; 13. Brandon Allen, St. Peter, Minn., 707; 14. Javen Ostermann, Courtland, Minn., 704; 15. Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, Neb., and Adam Gullion, Lincoln, Neb., both 702; 17. Jacob Gomola, Seneca, Pa., 695; 18. Ronald “Trey” Burke, League City, Texas, 694; 19. Douglas Dodson, Middletown, Pa., 691; 20. Devin Adams, Lebanon, Pa., 689.  Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods – 1. Gregory Muirhead, Mabank, Texas, 1,127; 2. James Hanusch, Belton, Texas, 1,122; 3. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 1,102; 4. Damon Hammond, Burleson, Texas, 1,090; 5. Chris Cogburn, Robinson, Texas, 1,053; 6. Larry Underwood, Temple, Texas, 963; 7. James McCreery, Midlothian, Texas, 833; 8. Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas, 826; 9. Chris Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 824; 10. Austin Moore, Axtell, Texas, 806; 11. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas, 797; 12. Jeff Shepperd, Waco, Texas, 796; 13. Blaine Shives, Leonard, Texas, 783; 14. Cullen Hill, Healdton, Okla., 771; 15. Jake Upchurch, Red Oak, Texas, 758; 16. Kaden Honeycutt, Willow Park, Texas, 732; 17. Garett Rawls, Elm Mott, Texas, 728; 18. Michael Martin, Kaufman, Texas, 713; 19. John “Jay” Coone, Weatherford, Texas, 712; 20. Casey Brunson, Lott, Texas, 692. Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods – 1. Cody Thompson, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,194; 2. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, Iowa, 1,191; 3. Matt Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 1,187; 4. Jake McBirnie, Boone, Iowa, 1,180; 5. Chase Rudolf, Prole, Iowa, 1,179; 6. Kevin Johnson, Bakersfield, Calif., 1,171; 7. Dakota Sproul, Hays, Kan., 1,170; 8. Luke Stallbaumer, Tecumseh, Kan., 1,167; 9. Doug Smith, Lanesboro, Iowa, 1,159; 10. Hunter Longnecker, Woodward, Iowa, 1,146; 11. Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1,141; 12. Guy Ahlwardt, Antioch, Calif., 1,140; 13. David Siercks, Princeton, Minn., 1,137; 14. Jacob Hagemann, Fort Ripley, Minn., and Brett Berry, Colby, Kan., both 1,134; 16. Cade Richards, Lincoln, Neb., 1,131; 17. Jerry Miles, Bernard, Iowa, 1,128; 18. Rusty Montagne, North Sioux City, S.D., 1,126; 19. Austen Becerra, Carthage, Ill., 1,124; 20. Vince Engebregtsen, Algoma, Wis., 1,120. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 1,200; 2. Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 1,192; 3. Kyle Pfeifer, Hill City, Kan., 1,173; 4. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,166; 5. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn., 1,165; 6. Jason Batt, Harker Heights, Texas, 1,161; 7. Mike Petersilie, Hoisington, Kan., 1,158; 8. Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 1,156; 9. Cody Center, Mesa, Ariz., 1,152; 10. Jay Schmidt, Tama, Iowa, 1,145; 11. Brian Blessington, Breda, Iowa, 1,139; 12. A.J. Dancer, Red Rock, Texas, 1,138; 13. George Fronsman, Surprise, Ariz., 1,136; 14. Austin Brauner, Platte Center, Neb., 1,129; 15. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn., 1,126; 16. Jason Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 1,115; 17. Derek Green, Granada, Minn., 1,102; 18. Donavon Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,100; 19. Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski, Wis., 1,096; 20. Devin Smith, Lake City, Iowa, 1,078. center_img Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 1,197; 2. Alex Dostal, Glencoe, Minn., 1,190; 3. Terry Tritt, York, Neb., 1,156; 4. Steven Bevills, Granbury, Texas, 1,152; 5. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 1,112; 6. Darwin “Bubba” Brown Jr., Jackson, Minn., 1,095; 7. Roberto “R.J.” Esqueda, Madelia, Minn., 1,087; 8. Shawn Hein, Beatrice, Neb., 1,086; 9. Frank Lackey, Joshua, Texas, 1,084; 10. Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, and Tyler Fiebelkorn, Creston, Iowa, both 1,080; 12. John Gill, Marshalltown, Iowa, 1,075; 13. Oliver Monson, Humboldt, Iowa, 1,071; 14. Jade Lange, Humboldt, Iowa, 1,064; 15. Justin Dose, Glencoe, Minn., 1,056; 16. Conner Brown, Yankton, S.D., 1,027; 17. Parker Vollbrecht, Stanton, Neb., 1,008; 18. Daniel VanderVeen, Sioux City, Iowa, 997; 19. Tom Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 984; 20. Howard Watson, Weatherford, Texas, 973. IMCA Modifieds – 1. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 1,200; 2. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, Iowa, 1,178; 3. Anthony Roth, Columbus, Neb., 1,172; 4. Thomas Berry, Newburg, N.D., 1,168; 5. Bricen James, Albany, Ore., 1,165; 6. William Gould, Calera, Okla., and Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, both 1,160; 8. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M., 1,159; 9. Drew Armstrong, Benton, Ark., 1,145; 10. Brandon Beckendorf, Danube, Minn., and Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, Iowa, both 1,143; 12. Chris Morris, Taylor, Texas, 1,142; 13. Jeremy Mills, Britt, Iowa, 1,139; 14. Tim Ward, Chandler, Ariz., 1,135; 15. Jeff Larson, Freeport, Ill., 1,133; 16. Aaron Johnson, Brainerd, Minn., 1,128; 17. Clay Money, Penokee, Kan., and Shane DeMey, Denison, Iowa, both 1,126; 19. Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D., and Kevin Green, Waco, Texas, both 1,125. Final point races of the 2019 season are Sunday, Sept. 29last_img read more

Cougars’ Thompson: the one that got away

first_imgSeldom are there opportunities for do-overs in sports.But I would bet that USC wishes it had another chance to recruit Klay Thompson.Thompson now stars as a guard for Washington State, an off-the-map destination for what might be one of the Pac-10’s best players. The sweet-shooting sophomore has emerged as one of the country’s most potent threats, ranking fifth in the NCAA in points per game.USC will have to find a way to contain Thompson tonight when the Trojans play Washington State at the Galen Center, but few teams have had luck corralling him. And as Trojan defenders prepare to lock him down, they’ll also have to consider that they could have been playing alongside him.Thompson’s emergence as a star seemed unlikely just a few years ago when he was playing in USC’s backyard. Throughout his career at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Thompson was always known for having a great shooting stroke. But questions persisted about how his skills would translate at the next level, even after a standout senior season.Despite having offers from several schools, Thompson was essentially ignored by the Pac-10. Yet Washington State, which under former coach Tony Bennett developed a reputation for overachieving with lightly recruited players, seemed like the perfect fit for the second-generation basketball star (Thompson’s father is Mychal Thompson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft).Less than two years later, Thompson has made plenty of schools regret overlooking him — including USC.“It would have been cool to go to USC or UCLA at the time, but they already had guys recruited at my position, so it was difficult to get an offer from either of the two. I understood the situation,” Thompson told Sports Illustrated this summer.The Trojans looked at Thompson but already had a commitment from Malik Story, a player who began his career as a highly touted prospect but fizzled after a tumultuous senior year. Story never enrolled at USC, instead starting at Indiana and then transferring to Nevada.Former USC coach Tim Floyd tried to explain last year why Thompson slipped through his fingers in favor of a player that never made it to campus. But hey, it’s not his problem anymore.Still, Thompson’s story reveals plenty about the previous administration of Trojan basketball.Floyd had an odd habit of reaching for stars and burning up in the atmosphere when he fell short. He was able to bring in NBA-level talent, but it often created great roster turnover that forced the team to plug leaks on a yearly basis.The influx of stars often came at the expense of players like Thompson who are capable of overachieving. Floyd also often ignored positional needs, instead bringing in a glut of swingmen no matter the team’s landscape.It’s true that elite talent often separates the top-tier teams from the rest in the NCAA. And Floyd deserves credit for bringing in the current players as well as assembling what would have been a stellar recruiting class.But it was Floyd’s pairing with O.J. Mayo and whatever happened subsequently that got USC in hot water with the NCAA. And it wasn’t until this year that, without a star on the team, many of the former role players started to flourish.There should always be room for players like Klay Thompson ­— more coaches just need to realize it.USC’s handling of Thompson also brings into question a NCAA-wide practice: recruiting too early. Surely there was a time when Story looked like a better prospect than Thompson, but there’s little value in making prognostications on players who are still growing.Story committed to USC before his sophomore season, but Floyd took commitments from players so young that they hardly knew where their high school locker was. Plenty of schools race to lock down players as early as possible, but the pledges rarely tend to pan out. Since when are 14-year-olds capable of committing to after-school plans, let alone a college?Schools have to begin making inroads with prospects as early as possible — it’s a reality of the recruiting game. But schools should be aware that their evaluations need to continue into the later years of high school. Some players plateau and others, like Thompson, are late bloomers but show great potential.Perhaps it would have taken a circuitous route for Floyd to get Thompson to USC. But there’s no question how much the Trojans could use him — Thompson has made 44 three-pointers this season, which doubles Dwight Lewis’ team-leading total of 22.There’s nothing USC coach Kevin O’Neill can do about it, but tonight he might wish that USC hadn’t let Thompson be the one that got away.“Tackling Dummy” runs Thursdays. To comment on this article, visit or email Michael at [email protected]last_img read more

379 students graduate from YEST programme

first_imgThree hundred and seventy nine students, who have successfully completed training in a variety of disciplines, are now empowered to become entrepreneurs. The large batch graduated on Friday, at a ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre.Minister Nicolette Henry (second from left), Permanent Secretary Alfred King (left), and officials within the Education Ministry along with students who graduated from the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training programmeThe batch completed training under the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme (YEST), conducted at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre (KKTC), Soesdyke/Linden Highway, the Sophia Training Centre (STC) in Georgetown and the Vrymen’s Erven Training Centre in Berbice.The programme, which was established under the previous Administration, is offered to youths between the ages of 16 and 25. Youths attending KKTC are trained for 10 months while those at the STC and Vrymen’s Erven Centre undergo six months of training.Headed by the Education Ministry’s Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, YEST continues to offer skills training and entrepreneurship, to enhance the employment potential of young people who have left the formal school system.The students received training in the disciplines of cosmetology, information technology, masonry, carpentry, welding, and mechanics, among others at the various training centres.Minister within the Education Ministry, Nicolette Henry, delivered the charge to the students, noting that she is proud of the dedication and hard work which led to the success of the students.The Minister told the graduates that they were exposed to skills training that now give them the opportunity to become well rounded individuals. “You are now in a position to play a meaningful role in the development of your different communities, and eventually that of our country”.The graduates were urged by Minister Henry to use the skills they have acquired to equip themselves for the challenges they will face. “There will be challenges ahead of you and you will have to translate what you have learned during your training to deal with those challenges,” the Minister explained.Minister Henry also encouraged the graduates to be responsible, positive, and passionate, and share their knowledge, to be a role model, and to give back to their communities.last_img read more

Both sides in election courting Latino voters

first_img Still, Schwarzenegger’s campaign efforts include at least two ads running on Spanish TV – neither featuring the governor, who does not speak Spanish. One features young children playing with blocks that have the numbers 74, 75, 76 and 77 on them, while an announcer argues that the measures would benefit schools. Another ad features four people speaking about why they support each of the governor’s four initiatives. Officials with the Alliance for a Better California, the main labor-backed coalition fighting the governor’s agenda, also have been working hard to court the Latino vote. The alliance, which has featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in its television and print ads, has also mobilized Spanish-speaking union members to go door-to-door in urban neighborhoods. The group has also capitalized on Schwarzenegger’s ties to former Gov. Pete Wilson, who became unpopular in the Latino community after backing anti-immigrant measures, by featuring the two side-by-side or morphing into each other in ads and asking voters to stop the “Wilson-Schwarzenegger agenda.” Another Alliance ad features a schoolteacher discussing the effects Schwarzenegger’s measure would have on schools and then cuts to Villaraigosa urging voters to oppose the measures. Still, some analysts argue, neither campaign has been courting Latinos to the extent they have in past elections. Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute, a nonpartisan organization that studies and seeks to improve Latino political participation, believes both campaigns are focusing more on high-propensity voters – who tend to be white and affluent – than they do in a regular election when wider turnout is projected. “The political consultants are scared of voters that don’t have a clear track record on these issues, so they don’t do the kind of big turnout activities you do when it’s a race between candidates and parties,” Gonzalez said. “Just by the definition of this campaign, you don’t have the same amount of resources or attention or messaging going to Latino communities as, say, the white communities. That’s a function of dollars and cents. It’s also a function of a special election on insider-baseball-type initiatives.” Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger struggles to make his case for reform measures on the Nov. 8 special-election ballot, he and his opponents have stepped up their battle for the state’s Latino voters. The governor taped a town-hall forum on Spanish-language Univision that aired statewide over the weekend, even as opponents launched their first Spanish-language TV ads featuring Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attacking the governor’s proposals. The high-profile events are just the latest campaign efforts aimed at courting the 2 million Latinos registered to vote in California, accounting for 14 percent of the statewide electorate. “We’ve been on the air with a seven-figure Spanish TV buy for the last three weeks,” said Todd Harris, the governor’s campaign spokesman. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “In the past week, the governor has been endorsed by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Coalition, the Hispanic 100, the Hispanic Business Roundtable. Very influential statewide Latino groups have been joining the governor’s reform campaign in droves.” Harris, who was involved in Schwarzenegger’s recall campaign, said this year’s effort has more staff and resources dedicated toward courting the Latino vote than did the 2003 campaign. Still, the governor faces an uphill battle luring the Latino electorate – which has traditionally supported Democratic and union causes. Several of the ballot measures supported by Schwarzenegger – including one that would limit union use of members’ dues for political causes and one that would increase the time it takes teachers to gain tenure – have drawn battle lines with the unions. And a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California last week showed that 76 percent of Latinos disapprove of the governor’s job performance. last_img read more

MH370 search down to one ship

first_imgThe search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has wound down to one ship after a Chinese vessel headed to Fremantle on December 3 to decommission a remotely operated vehicle before heading back to Shanghai.The departure comes as a lengthy search of a 120,000 sq. km slice of the Indian Ocean  identified as the most likely site of the crash by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and international experts is due to end in January-February.Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and China determined in July that the search would be suspended once the 120,000km area had been searched  but left open the possibility it could be extended if credible new evidence leading to a specific location emerged.Searchers are known to be keen to continue the operation and experts from around the world met in Canberra early last month to review the evidence.  A report on the three-day meeting has yet to be released.The Dong Hai Jiu 101, had been hosting the US-owned Phoenix Remora III remotely operated vehicle (ROV) used to check unusual sea floor sonar contacts identified in previous sweeps and conducted 33 dives since October.The sonar contacts were anomalies found in previous sweeps that did not fit the profile of a typical aircraft debris field but raised questions about their origin.The underwater vehicle, which was tethered to the ship via a cable ,  confirmed that the contacts were geological or man-made items such as cables, drums and a box.None were related to the crashed Boeing 777-200ER, which went missing in mysterious circumstances in March, 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board while travelling between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.The remaining ship, the Fugro Equator, will continue search operations using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)  after resupplying in Fremantle.The torpedo-like Hugin 4500V AUV comes-equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system and uses the latest battery technology to allow it to operate for 30 hours, travelling at about four knots.Highly manoeuvrable and with a turning radius of about 15m, it is equipped with sonar and video surveillance equipment. It is generally programmed to search a particular area and the data downloaded after it returns to the ship but it can also receive commands though an acoustic system.It is used to search irregular and difficult terrain or to reacquire sonar contacts needing further investigation.The ATSB  said the Fugro Equator had completed four AUV operations in the past week , with an average duration of 23 hours.The Chinese ship’s departure as comes a group of relatives of the MH370 victims travelled to Madagascar to conduct a self-funded search for plane debris and Malaysian aviation investigators collected six pieces of suspected MH370 wreckage found six months ago by US debris hunter Blaine Gibson.The seven family members claimed their actions embarrassed the investigators into travelling to Madagascar to retrieve the debris found by Gibson but this was denied by Malaysia authorities, who labelled it a “coincidence’’.Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told the Malay Mail that the investigators would discuss the debris with their Australian counterparts.last_img read more

Lepley Farms finds balance in growing herd and compliance with new barn

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag NetFor a few years now, Dave Lepley has been contemplating expanding his Huron County cattle herd. He knew he wanted to grow the number of head on his farm, but if he was going to take a big step in that direction, he wanted to do it the right way.“We had a bed-pack dry lot with about 300 head and as we did research for expansion we came across the idea for this new cattle barn,” Lepley said. “We wanted to comply with a lot of different things. We had to have cattle comfort, we had to have compliance with EPA rules because of our proximity to Lake Erie so we wanted to be sure that as we built our herd size we could house them all in one facility.”The result is a 101-foot by 321-foot by16-foot indoor feedlot facility in Bellevue permitted to hold 1,000 head of cattle.“We traveled to many states and toured many barns and decided to go with a gable roof barn,” Lepley said. “It has a full liner underneath the pit so we can hold at least 400 days worth of manure so we can apply our nutrients when we can versus when we have to. In the spring, it typically stays wetter, longer in this region. We do have our dry periods in August and September but the crops are still in the field, so we have to push our manure hauling away from the wintertime and early spring when it is so wet to fall. There was really no way we could build a dry pack manure holding facility. We knew if we were going to expand we were going to have to hold liquid manure.”The pit is 12 feet deep and the eaves are 16 feet high so air flow, one of the items of Lepley’s wish list for expansion, is not a problem. Good nutrition was also on that list.“We are on a higher fiber ration. We use silage, wet distillers’ grain, cracked corn and a supplement,” Lepley said. “For our current herd, the barn average is eating about 46 pounds per head, per day. Our rate of gain is about 3,000 pounds of meat a day for just over 1,000 head. You can tell they are happy when that is happening.”Part of that happiness comes from another feature of Lepley’s new barn — all of the pens are lined with rubber.“You hear a lot of stories about livestock facilities before the rubber was put on the slats about how uncomfortable the cattle were,” Lepley said. “Our experience with our first cattle in this barn was that they arrived at 380 pounds and we didn’t have any issues with legs and they were comfortable until they were ready for market.”And Lepley says he is hoping this new facility will bring some comfort to those living around his area as well.“We are trying to be the best neighbors and the best stewards of the land that we can be,” Lepley said. “With Lake Erie being so close we are really focused on that. We work closely with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. They come and tour our facility at least twice a year. We have a monitoring well for all ground waters around here. We send our samples in and things come back looking really good.”The barn was constructed by Summit Livestock Facilities and their beef specialist Mike Schluttenhofer has been a part of the process since day 1.“This barn is all designed around air flow and sunlight,” Schluttenhofer said. “It’s broken into eight pens and it has a valley down the center for feed and the pit extends 10 feet past the south side of the barn to add a little bit more holding capacity.”Barns like the one on Lepley’s farm are also very beneficial when it comes to putting together a Crop Nutrient Management Plan.“When the manure is taken out of the pit and put onto the fields, they are able to track how much is put on each field so that they can cut down on the leaching of nutrients into the creeks, Schluttenhofer said.These types of facilities are becoming more common across the countryside as Ohio cattlemen work to protect the environment and maximize the returns on their investment.“There is a lot more indoor cattle feeding going on now with new regulations,” Schluttenhofer said. “It’s getting to be a pretty popular idea to control your manure and feed cattle inside. It is just a more efficient way to run a livestock operation. It’s a way to increase revenue without picking up extra acres of ground, which are hard to get these days.”last_img read more

Head scab update

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologistIn northern Ohio, most of the wheat fields are between Feekes growth stages 9 (full flag leaf emergence) and 10 (boot), with the odd early-planted field or field planted with an early- maturing variety beginning to head-out. In southern Ohio, fields are between Feekes 10 and early flowering (Feekes 10.5.1). For those fields of wheat at flowering and fields of barley heading-out May 20, the risk for head scab is moderate to low, according to the scab forecasting system ( shown here.However, persistent rainfall and warmer temperatures over the next few days will likely cause the risk to increase as more fields reach anthesis later this week and early next week. Remember, the scab fungus requires moisture in the form of rainfall or high relative humidity and warm temperatures to produce spores in crop residue, and for those spores to spread to wheat and barley heads, germinate, and infect. In addition, since infections occur primarily between pollination and early grain-fill, scab risk is also linked to crop development. Consequently, fields of wheat that are not yet at the flowering growth stage or fields of barley that are not yet at the heading growth stage are at low risk for head scab.Continue to keep your eyes on crop development, the weather, and the forecasting system, and be prepared to apply a fungicide if warm, wet conditions coincide with flowering and early grain fill. The forecasting system uses average conditions during the 15 days immediately before flowering to assess the risk of scab. Although it has been relatively cool over the last few days, with the frequent rainfall we have experienced so far in most areas, it will only take a few days of warm conditions for the risk of scab to increase. Prosaro, Caramba, and Miravis Ace are the most effective fungicides for head scab and vomitoxin management, and you will have a 4-6-day window from the day the crop reaches the critical growth stage (heading for barley and flowering for wheat) to make an application. Do remember to stay away from the strobilurin fungicides when the risk for scab is high, as this group of fungicides has been linked to higher grain contamination with vomitoxin.Click on these links to see updated factsheet # PLPATH-CER-06 for more on head scab of wheat and barley and factsheet # PLPATH-CER-03 for guidelines on how to use and interpret the scab forecasting system.last_img read more

Medical students urge Ottawa to help Canadians stranded in St Maarten

first_imgSome Canadian medical students who managed to escape St. Maarten before hurricane Irma pummelled the Caribbean island are urging the federal government to help bring home their fellow students who weren’t so lucky.Dulani Samarappuli, of Calgary, who just finished her first year at the American University of the Caribbean School, said she was one of five Canadians from the school who managed to board a Sunwing flight to Canada on Tuesday morning before the devastating storm hit.“My plan was to pack up everything in the house, take shelter on campus and ride it out,” the 26-year-old said. “But the night they said Irma would be a Category 5, I started to get more nervous and so did other students.”Samarappuli said she and four other students decided at the last minute to go to the airport to see if they could catch a flight to Toronto.The Sunwing flight was booked, but Samarappuli said they were told to wait in case some passengers did not show up. Before take off, she said, they were able to board the plane.The massive storm directly hit the island – which is divided between the French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten – early Wednesday, damaging its airport and leaving thousands of tourists and locals unable to escape. The devastation caused by the hurricane was followed by widespread looting and robberies.Dutch navy said the security situation on St. Maarten has since improved thanks to patrols by marines and police flown to the island to help overwhelmed local law enforcement. There was also concern that hurricane Jose could hit the island Saturday night, but St. Maarten was spared further damage because the storm passed farther from shore than expected.Now safe at home, Samarappuli said she and about 25 other Canadian students from the school who fled St. Maarten in time have banded together to get all the Canadians hunkering down at the university back home.They started an online petition that had garnered more than 1,500 signatures as of Sunday afternoon to draw attention to the situation in the hopes that Ottawa would do what other foreign governments are doing to rescue their citizens who are worried about their safety and running out of supplies.“They have curfews in place in the evenings to keep people safe and at home, and students are not allowed to leave campus without security guards,” she said. “But they are definitely afraid as far as how much worse it could get.”Samarappuli said some American students have been evacuated from the island by the U.S. military, adding Canada should do the same.Wyncel Chan, of Port Coquitlam, B.C., said her mother and sister were among the many Canadians trying to board another Sunwing flight on Sunday.Chan said her 22-year-old sister, Mariel, is in St. Maarten to start medical school and their mother, Cecilia, went with her to help settle her in.A group of Canadians taking shelter at the American University of the Caribbean School’s auditorium received a text message from Global Affairs alerting them that the Sunwing flight would be taking Canadians back home Sunday, Chan said.The 29-year-old doctor, who now works in Flint, Mich., said once her sister and mother arrived on the tarmac, they were told the flight was full and were turned away.In an email to The Canadian Press, Sunwing said it flew two humanitarian flights from St. Maarten this weekend that carried tourists from Canada, the United States, and Europe.The airline said priority boarding was given to people requiring medical attention and families with children.“Unfortunately, there were way more people at the airport than we were able to accommodate on our 189-seat aircraft.”But, Chan said French, Dutch and American citizens stranded on the island have been getting help from their military to evacuate, but Canadians there are starting to feel abandoned.“I think the people are losing hope. They keep going back to the airport, they keep hearing that they keep getting all these chartered planes,” Chan said. “But knowing that it’s the government coming to help, and not a private company, would at least reassure these people that they are not forgotten.“That’s the sense I am getting from my sister and my mother, and everyone else in our situation, is ‘why is everyone else getting aid and help and we’re not?”‘ she said.Samarappuli said the Canadian government needs to get more involved in the rescue effort, as well as do a better job of keeping family members informed.More than 9,000 Canadians have registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad Service in the region, Global Affairs said Sunday. Of those, 296 Canadian citizens have requested assistance.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters Sunday it’s exceedingly difficult to deploy the relief and recovery efforts while the problem is still unfolding and in some cases getting worse.“Everything that can be done to muster help to those who are in harm’s way, and then ultimately to participate in the recovery effort, Canada will be on standby to do everything that we can,” he said. “First and foremost, to protect and serve Canadians, but also to be good neighbours to our American friends and those in the Caribbean who are obviously suffering tremendously.” With files from The Associated PressRelated stories:Hurricane Irma begins assault on Florida Keys‘I’m scared to death,’ says Key West woman riding out stormCanadians in Florida brace for the worst as hurricane Irma descendslast_img read more

A first AFN candidates in the Yukon for candidates forum

first_imgShirley McLeanAPTN NewsFor the first time in the history of the Assembly of First Nations, a forum featuring the candidates who are running for the national chief’s job were in the north.The group met in Whitehorse to compare views on where to take the AFN after the election on July [email protected]@shirlmcleanlast_img