first_imgThe University of Georgia Muscadine Field Day and growers’meeting will be Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at theGeorgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga.Commercial and Backyard GrowersThe field day and meeting will include useful information forboth commercial growers and backyard gardeners.Researchers from the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences will be among the speakers. Others will include researchersfrom Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina State and growers fromGeorgia and North Carolina.The speakers will tell how to grow, package and market muscadines.They will also unveil some processed muscadine products. And PeteAndersen of Florida will introduce “Polyanna,” a self-fertilevariety with purple fruit.Taste Panel and Vineyard TourOf special note to commercial growers will be the Georgia MuscadineAssociation business meeting and a session looking into a regionalassociation and marketing effort.The field day favorites will be back, too. Don’t miss the tastepanel of muscadines or the tour of the Dempsey Farm vineyards.The cost of the field day is $15 if you register before Sept.10 and $20 after that. The fee covers all handouts and refreshments.To learn more, or to sign up, call (770) 229-3477.Create Your Own Home VineyardFor information on how to start and care for your own homemuscadine vineyard, check the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences’ website for the publicationtitled “Home Garden Muscadines” at http://www.ces.uga.edu/pubcd/L225-w.html.(Photo by Sharon Omahen, University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

first_imgRadon is tasteless, odorless and invisible, but the radioactive gas still kills more Americans every year than drunk driving. It is the most common cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and causes about 21,000 deaths a year. Those statistics have left one Athens, Ga., family wondering if radon contributed to the premature death of their 27-year-old daughter. They’re urging other Georgia families to have their homes tested for the gas, which seeps up from the state’s granite bedrock and may reach unsafe levels as it accumulates in the home. “Radon tests are very inexpensive, and it’s no trouble whatsoever,” said Ann Tackett, who lives in Athens and recently lost her daughter. “Just see if your house has radon. If it does, get it fixed.” Tackett’s daughter died in late November after being diagnosed with lung cancer in fall of 2011. She had never smoked. January is National Radon Action month, and the Tacketts and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension home safety and public health educators are asking Georgians to minimize their families’ exposure to the silent killer. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that seeps from the ground as uranium deposits decay. It is always in the ambient air, usually at about 0.4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). At that level, radon is not harmful, but over time the radioactive gas can become concentrated in the air inside homes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers levels of 4 pCi/L or more as high. Of course, the lower the radon level, the better. In the last year of her life, Allison made it her mission to educate the public about the dangers of radon gas and what they can do to keep their families safe. Now her mother has taken over that task, making sure her neighbors have their homes tested and speaking out whenever and wherever she can. “I’m going to try to fill those huge shoes,” said Tackett, who had never heard of the dangers posed by household radon until one of her daughter’s doctors suggested that she have the house tested. While homes in every part of Georgia are at risk for radon infiltration, homes in north Georgia are especially vulnerable. Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties have the highest average indoor radon levels, according to the EPA. The UGA Cooperative Extension Radon Education Program works across the state to bring awareness, but educators target counties n the northern third of Georgia where most of the high radon levels are found, said radon educator Becky Chenhall. This year about 4,400 students and adults participated in radon awareness workshops and presentations.Radon testing is cheap and easy. Families can purchase a kit for $8 from their county Extension office or for $10 online at www.ugaradon.org. Test kits may also be purchased from local retailers. The advantages of purchasing a kit from UGA are that the cost includes the lab analysis and a follow up from a UGA radon educator if your test results are high.Test kit instructions should be followed exactly, but homeowners typically hang the carbon filled test canister in their house for between three to seven days before mailing it to a testing center. The air inside the average home contains about 1.3 pCi/L of radon. Experts recommend mitigation, which involves installing a ventilation system, for any home that has 4 pCi/L or above. Tests revealed the Tacketts were living with a radon level of 3.1 pCi/L in their home. They plan to install a ventilation system that diverts radon from under the house through a vent pipe to the outside air above the roof, thus, preventing radon gas from entering the home. The Tacketts’ story is not unusual, Chenhall said. In the decade since she started doing radon awareness work, she has met several families who didn’t know their homes were unsafe until a loved was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she first started educating people about the risks of radon, people had never heard of the gas. Today, people seem to know that radon poses a risk to their families, but many still put off testing their homes. “I think part of the reason is that you don’t see the effects for so long,” Chenhall said. “It can take at least 12 to 14 years for radon to start causing problems.” Other families are worried they won’t have the money to install the needed the ventilation system if they find that their homes have high levels of radon, she said. “In reality, the improvements are not that expensive given that the device has the potential to save lives, and if you need a radon mitigation system, the first step involves planning and saving,” Chenhall said. In the first three quarters of 2012, the UGA Radon Education Program distributed 1,649 radon test kits. Almost 380 families found unsafe radon levels in their homes, and about half were able to get the problem fixed this year. A video tutorial on how to conduct a radon test can be viewed on the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension’s website at www.ugaradon.org. For more information about radon visit the UGA website at www.ugaradon.org, the EPA website at www.epa.gov/radon/ and watch a video at www.youtube.com/user/UGAGreenWay.last_img read more

first_imgNICOSIA (AP) — Costakis Koutsokoumnis, the president of the Cyprus Football Association for the last 17 years, has died at 61.The Cyprus FA said on its website that Koutsokoumnis died on Monday after a months-long battle with cancer.From 2001, Koutsokoumnis won seven consecutive elections uncontested after first becoming involved with the association in 1994.Some of his most significant achievements included bringing the association in line with UEFA’s financial criteria, streamlining judicial bodies, and helping clubs with their bottom line through proceeds from television broadcast rights. He also unified soccer on the island by bringing the rural football league within the association’s fold.In April, Koutsokoumnis gained a seat on the executive board of FIFA as a UEFA representative.FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini, left, walks with Cyprus Football Association President Costakis Koutsokoumnis, during a UEFA summit in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus. Koutsokoumnis, the president of the Cyprus Football Association for the last 17 years, has died at 61. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgCanada will assist the United States in co-hosting a major international meeting on North Korea in an attempt to find a non-military solution to a nuclear crisis, which escalated Tuesday with a record-setting missile test by the rogue state.They will convene foreign ministers from the countries involved in the Korean War and from important regional actors like Japan in a meeting whose date has not been set but which will likely occur in Canada early next year.The conference had been under discussion for weeks between Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and they chose to announce it late Tuesday after North Korea carried out its longest-ever missile test.A meeting of this magnitude “hasn’t been done before,” one Canadian official said.“It’s been years since diplomatic conversations went dormant … This is part of an effort to involve all the players who should be involved … It helps give legs to a diplomatic solution.”A statement by the U.S. State Department said: “Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now.” It said the U.S. remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea.That message stands in contrast to recent remarks from the U.S. president. Donald Trump has expressed skepticism that diplomacy might work and even questioned the point of his secretary of state participating in political talks.Trump was curt in public comments Tuesday.“I will only tell you that we will take care of it,” Trump told reporters at the White House.“It is a situation that we will handle.”He made the remarks during a meeting attended by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who added context about what had just occurred.Mattis said that mid-day, Washington time, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. He said it represented a milestone in North Korea’s decades-old nuclear program, which has been used in the past to build leverage and extract concessions from other countries.The North said in a special televised announcement that it successfully fired what it called the Hwasong-15, a new nuclear-capable ICBM that’s “significantly more” powerful than the North’s previously tested long-range weapon.The missile travelled about 1,000 kilometres, flew for 53 minutes, and landed within 370 nautical kilometres of Japan’s coast.“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Mattis said.“It’s a research and development effort on their part to continue building ballistic missiles that could threaten everywhere in the world, basically.”He said the South Koreans responded by firing some pinpoint missiles into the water, to make the point that it could fire upon its neighbour and rival. Mattis called the North Korean action a threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and the United States.In a statement, Freeland called this latest launch a “reckless and dangerous act” that presents a “direct threat to the world” that cannot be tolerated.With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were killed and seven others have been injured in three separate road accidents in the district on Sunday.The first incident took place at Andal in West Burdwan at around 6.30 am when a youth was returning home on his motorcycle after doing a night shift. The victim, a private employee, was hit by a speeding truck.He sustained critical injuries in the accident. Some of the locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The truck driver fled the spot immediately. According to the local sources, the truck was at a high speed as a result of which the driver could not control the vehicle when the youth came in front of the truck. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe driver applied a sudden brake but failed to avoid the accident. The incident triggered tension in the area and it caused traffic congestion in Jadudanga area of Jamuria.Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.Another accident took place on National Highway 34 near Udaypur area of Shantipur when a truck collided head on with a bus.One passenger and the helper of the bus succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the bus driver might have fallen asleep while driving on Sunday morning. Seven other passengers were also injured in the accident. Three of them are stated to be serious. They were taken to a hospital for treatment. The third incident occurred in Mejia area of Bankura when a speeding truck knocked down a cyclist from behind. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been at large.last_img read more