By Allegra Abramo and Jennifer Lehman, Special to ProPublicaCharlie Stewart was looking forward to getting out of the nursing home in time for his 60th birthday. On his planned release day, in late 2012, the Long Island facility instead called Stewart’s wife to say he was being sent to the hospital with a fever.When his wife, Jeanne, met him there, the stench of rotting flesh made it difficult to sit near her husband. The small wounds on his right foot that had been healing when Stewart entered the nursing home now blackened his entire shin.“When I saw it at the hospital … I almost threw up,” Jeanne Stewart said. “It was disgusting. I said, ‘It looks like somebody took a match to it.’ ”Doctors told Stewart the infection in his leg was poisoning his body. To save his life, they would have to amputate above the knee.Stewart had spent about six weeks recovering from a diabetic emergency at Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation & Health Care Center on Long Island. The nursing home is one of several in a group of for-profit homes affiliated with SentosaCare, LLC, that have a record of repeat fines, violations and complaints for deficient care in recent years.Despite that record, SentosaCare founder Benjamin Landa, partner Bent Philipson and family members have been able to expand their nursing home ownerships in New York, easily clearing regulatory reviews meant to be a check on repeat offenders. SentosaCare is now the state’s largest nursing home network, with at least 25 facilities and nearly 5,400 beds.That unhindered expansion highlights the continued weakness of nursing home oversight in New York, an investigation by ProPublica found, and exposes gaps in the state’s system for vetting parties who apply to buy shares in homes.State law requires a “character-and-competence” review of buyers before a change in ownership can go through. To pass muster, other health care facilities associated with the buyers must have a record of high-quality care.The decision maker in these deals is the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, a body of appointed officials, many from inside the health care industry. The council has substantial leverage to press nursing home applicants to improve quality, but an examination of dozens of transactions in recent years show that power is seldom used.Moreover, records show that the council hasn’t always had complete information about all the violations and fines at nursing homes owned by or affiliated with applicants it reviewed. That’s because the Department of Health, which prepares character-and-competence recommendations for the council, doesn’t report them all.The department’s assessments of Landa and other owners of SentosaCare homes have routinely found that the facilities provided a “substantially consistent high level of care” – the standard owners must meet to receive council approval.Yet the agency’s assessments in 15 separate ownership applications since 2013 did not mention at least 20 federal fines paid by the group’s homes, records show. In more than a dozen cases, the department reported “no repeat violations,” even when a SentosaCare home had been cited multiple times for the same serious deficiency.Many of the nursing home deals ProPublica reviewed received a go-ahead despite rules saying they “shall not be” approved when facilities have repeat violations that put residents at risk. Under a narrow interpretation of the rules, however, the department still recommends approval if violations aren’t strictly identical or were promptly addressed.SentosaCare’s owners or associates weren’t the only applicants to get incomplete vetting, but the council has had repeated opportunities to scrutinize their records. Landa, Philipson or relatives bought shares in a dozen homes in 2013 and 2014, records show.Advocates for nursing home patients say that instead of a backstop, New York’s approval process has become a rubber stamp.“The law establishes mechanisms for at least a moderate review of an applicant’s character and competence,” said Richard Mollot, director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition in New York. “The failure to provide complete information on a provider’s past performance fundamentally undermines the review process.”Mollot’s group published a recent report saying the Health Department has one of the nation’s lowest rates of citing nursing home operators for deficiencies in care. New York is also among a minority of states that don’t mandate minimum staffing ratios, even though research shows a strong link between nursing staff and residents’ well-being.Thirteen of SentosaCare’s homes (though not Avalon Gardens) have Medicare’s bottom score for nurse staffing. Inspection reports also show that at least seven residents have wandered away from the SentosaCare affiliated facilities in recent years — including one who froze to death in 2011. Inspectors and prosecutors have found that staff falsified records in some cases. Dozens of patients at SentosaCare homes have experienced long delays before receiving necessary care; some ended up in hospitals.The Stewarts said the staff at Avalon Gardens showed “no sense of urgency” when they complained about missed meals, soiled sheets and unanswered call bells. Even though nurses dressed the wound on Charlie’s leg daily, and a doctor checked it each week, no one warned them about its worsening condition, the Stewarts said.Dr. Kris Alman, a retired endocrinologist who reviewed Stewart’s medical records and photographs at ProPublica’s request, said that the two quarter-sized lesions on his foot when he was admitted to Avalon Gardens could not have “become what it did overnight.” That the condition “progressed as far as it did, with him coming in septic and needing an above-the-knee amputation, was inexcusable,” Alman said.Landa’s attorney and business partner, Howard Fensterman, declined to comment on Stewart’s case for reasons of patient privacy. Fensterman defended Avalon Gardens and other SentosaCare facilities, however, saying that when inspectors have found problems, the homes quickly addressed them and secured state approval of correction plans.Fensterman also said that SentosaCare does not have “ownership or control” over the facilities in its network and only contracts with them to provide administrative and rehabilitation consulting, regulatory advice and purchasing services. Records show, however, that Landa and Philipson, or family members, have ownership stakes or directorships in nearly all of SentosaCare’s facilities. Fensterman also co-owns 14 nursing homes with Landa in several states, including one SentosaCare home.Fensterman is a former member of the state health council, as is Landa, who entered the nursing home business in the late 1980s and emerged as one of the sector’s biggest players over the next decade. Landa, Philipson or family members now hold stakes in at least 33 nursing homes in New York and an equal number in nine other states.In 2013, the latest year for which state data is available, homes under the SentosaCare umbrella paid the company more than $11.5 million for financial, staffing and other services, and spent nearly $630,000 with Fensterman’s law firm.The nation’s $137 billion nursing home industry has made major improvements since the landmark 1987 federal Nursing Home Reform Act imposed mandates to combat abuse and neglect. But the industry, which draws heavily on taxpayer funding via Medicare and Medicaid, still struggles to provide safe care for many.One-third of Medicare patients suffered preventable harm within a month of being admitted to nursing homes for short-term rehabilitation, according to a 2014 study by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general. The harm cost Medicare $2.8 billion for hospitalizations alone in 2011, the study estimated.New York spends about $13 billion each year on the state’s 627 nursing homes, which collectively care for more than 100,000 residents. The Department of Health is charged with day-to-day oversight of safety, but patient advocates say the agency lacks the staff and expertise to do the job adequately.SentosaCare homes, which took in nearly $538 million from Medicare and Medicaid in 2013, aren’t the only facilities in the state with repeat violations and low staffing, and several of the company’s homes have above-average ratings on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare web site, which rates them with one to five stars. (State-by-state inspection reports can be searched on ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspect, which also lists deficiencies by severity level.)But federal data through August shows that 11 of SentosaCare’s homes exceeded the state average of 24 violations over the past three years, and three had double that number.The most critical nursing home deficiencies are known as “immediate jeopardy” violations — incidents or conditions that have caused or are likely to cause the “serious injury, harm, impairment, or death” of patients. Less than 6 percent of all New York homes were cited for four or more immediate-jeopardy violations in recent years.By comparison, Avalon Gardens was cited for 10 immediate-jeopardy violations in the three years ending in August, the third-highest number in the state for that period. Two other SentosaCare homes — Woodmere Rehabilitation & Health Care Center and South Point Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation Center — each have been cited for four.Elopements — where residents leave the premises without the knowledge of a home’s operators — have been a repeat problem for Avalon and Woodmere, where SentosaCare co-owner Philipson has been listed as longtime managing partner.Two days before Thanksgiving in 2011, a group of Woodmere residents walked to a nearby school for a holiday lunch. When aides took a head count, one of the 19 residents, a 55-year-old with dementia named Dennis Buckham, was missing.Buckham wasn’t found until four days later, face down on a Brooklyn sidewalk, frozen and without a pulse. He died of cardiac arrest and hypothermia, according to the chief medical examiner’s report cited in the Department of Health investigation.Fensterman said Woodmere overhauled its policies and procedures, and that the state signed off on an official plan of correction. Two years later, however, a 64-year-old Woodmere resident with schizophrenia left a secure unit 10 times over three months. Staffers found her in the basement and at the front door, but according to the state’s report, the home did not investigate, change her care plan or conduct a doctor-ordered psychiatric evaluation.About a month later, the woman walked past a security guard and was found in the road. Fensterman said no harm resulted, the home fired the security guard who let the resident slip out, and the state again approved a correction plan.Residents also wandered from Avalon Gardens in 2011 and 2013, state inspection reports show. In all, at least seven residents wandered away from SentosaCare facilities between 2011 and 2014, according to state inspection reports.The reports also document dozens of cases of delayed treatment at SentosaCare homes. At Woodmere in 2012, staffers failed to promptly send four patients to the hospital, two of whom died. Two years later, a resident at Parkview Care and Rehabilitation Center in Nassau County suffered from a collapsed lung for four days while staff failed to check results from a chest X-ray or assess his breathing or vital signs.Fensterman said that each SentosaCare home is distinct. “There is no pattern of delayed treatment among facilities,” he said, “as each facility cited had separate issues, which in no way relate to each other.” He said the Health Department found the incidents to be isolated and that all were corrected.On multiple occasions, state inspectors discovered that staff at SentosaCare facilities tried to cover up lapses in care — allegedly lying about elopements or the failure to spot bedsores, for example. After a 2012 investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the administrator of The Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, a SentosaCare home in Suffolk County, pled guilty to falsifying records after a resident wandered away and was found walking on the highway five hours later. The administrator was sentenced to a $2,500 fine and probation.In June, after another investigation by Schneiderman’s office, four Woodmere nurses were arrested for falsely signing off on forms saying they had checked on a resident who fell three times in a week and ended up hospitalized. Three pleaded guilty to misdemeanors; the fourth case is pending.Researchers and patient advocates say that insufficient staffing is one of the biggest contributors to poor outcomes for nursing home residents. The issue is important enough that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tracks staffing and has determined that less than 4.1 hours of total daily nursing care per long-term resident increases the risk of bed sores, weight loss and other types of harm to patients.“Direct bedside nursing home staff is probably the most important factor in nursing home care — end of story,” said Dr. Michele Bellantoni, clinical director of geriatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Only three SentosaCare homes meet the 4.1-hour threshold, however. Six provide less than three hours of daily nursing care per resident, according to data the facilities self-report to CMS.Fensterman said CMS’ overall staff ratings are not a good measure for comparing homes because they don’t reflect the different nursing needs of homes’ patients or high scores on other quality measures. As an example, he cited Park Avenue Extended Care, another SentosaCare facility, which CMS rated with one star on staffing but five stars for health quality, which tracks data such as how often patients get bedsores or infections.On the other end of the scale is Avalon, with nearly 45 percent more complaints and double the number of complaint-related citations per 100 beds than the averages found in New York homes. In its most recent inspection, this past June, Avalon was cited for 21 deficiencies. Among them: Eight residents received medications up to three hours late because the facility did not have sufficient nursing staff.Tom Bennett, 60, spent about a month in short-term rehabilitation at Avalon Gardens in 2013. Obesity and a back injury made it impossible for the Long Island man to get out of bed. In an interview, he said he didn’t receive regular sponge baths and sometimes sat in his own feces for hours because no one was available to help.“They were all over-worked. They were telling me, you know, we just don’t have enough help to take care of everybody,” Bennett said. “And you can hear the buzzers going off constantly — meep, meep, meep, meep. And the aides are just like running from room to room to room.”Fensterman declined to comment about Bennett’s situation. State records list SentosaCare partners Landa and Philipson as co-owners of Avalon Gardens, each with an interest of more than 30 percent. In 2013, the home reported paying $1 million to SentosaCare for services and $90,000 to Fensterman’s firm.Although New York doesn’t mandate minimum staffing ratios, federal law says homes must have “sufficient staff” to “attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.”Patient advocates say that vague standard is one reason that the state rarely cites homes for insufficient staffing. Health Department officials, in response to an email asking about the agency’s citation rate, also noted the lack of specific minimum staffing rules.Avalon Gardens and a second SentosaCare home, South Point Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Long Island, were among only 29 cited specifically for insufficient staffing in the past three years.Patient advocates say lack of staff is one of the most common complaints from residents and that state inspectors should be following federal guidance, which instructs them to look for staffing issues “whenever quality of care problems have been discovered.”Advocacy groups and the state’s biggest nurses’ union have pushed for mandatory staffing ratios, and “safe-staffing” bills have been introduced in the New York Legislature for at least a decade, according to the office of Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, the health committee chairman. Hospitals and nursing homes have objected, saying the mandates would be too costly.Mollot said that while legislating a staffing floor would help, the key is whether the Health Department does more to police the problem. If a new staffing law “just becomes another requirement that’s not enforced,” he said, “what good is it?”When nursing home ownership changes hands in New York, character-and-competence reviews are supposed to provide an important checkpoint.State law gives the Public Health and Health Planning Council the power to bar new owners or directors based on the compliance record of any facility they are “affiliated” with. “If some bad actor wanted to buy a new nursing home,” said Susan Regan, a lawyer who spent 18 years on council, “we could say no.”Except the council seldom says “no.”ProPublica’s review of Health Department and council records did not turn up any nursing home ownership applications within the last five years that were rejected because of lapses in patient care. In most cases, the council — 24 volunteers appointed by the governor — follows the department’s recommendations.Although the department’s reviews summarize past violations and fines at an applicant’s related facilities, they typically conclude there is a “substantially consistent high quality of care.” Regulations say applicants “shall not” receive such a finding if a facility’s violations were “recurrent or were not promptly corrected.”But the council doesn’t always get a look at the complete record.Thanks to home purchases and shuffling of ownership shares, Landa, Philipson, their family members and other owners of SentosaCare facilities have come up for council reviews a dozen times since 2013. In addition to omitting mention of at least 20 federal fines paid by SentosaCare homes, the department’s reviews reported “no repeat violations” a dozen times when there had been multiple citations for the same problems.Since 2011, Woodmere has been cited and fined several times for the same class of violations that put residents in immediate jeopardy, including giving unnecessary medications and failing to protect residents from falls. The home paid more than $80,000 in federal fines, which are shared with the state. In 2013, the federal government also temporarily halted payments for new admissions at Woodmere, a stiff penalty for homes with ongoing problems.None of those actions was noted in character-and-competence summaries provided to council members on at least three occasions in 2013 and 2014, when Landa, Philipson and others associated with Woodmere applied to buy shares of other nursing homes. Instead, the department wrote that Woodmere had “no enforcements” or made no mention of the home.In each case, the department recommended approval, and the council voted in favor without any objections. Records list Landa as a director and Philipson as the managing partner of Woodmere. Fensterman, who served on the council from 2010 until 2014, recused himself from votes involving business partners and clients.When SentosaCare’s South Point Plaza was part of reviews in 2013 and 2014, the department also said it had “no repeat enforcements,” even though the home had been cited and fined more than once for residents having pressure sores. Although three state fines were noted, an additional $90,000 in federal fines and one Medicare payment denial were not included in the reviews.Asked about the omissions, the department initially said its character-and-competence process includes federal investigations and fines. In a later statement, it said federal fines are not currently included, but that its policy is being reviewed. The agency began listing them in council papers in February, it said in an email, but only “for informational purposes.”A review of dozens of health council applications shows that the department doesn’t always flag serious violations if there was no state fine, or if the amount isn’t finalized. The state did not settle $18,000 in fines for elopements at Woodmere and Avalon until last month, more than two years after the incidents. Recent character-and-competence reviews did not mention pending fines or report that the elopements had occurred.About a year ago, the department began appending copies of its website pages on citations and quality ratings to council review documents. A list of deficiencies and their severity isn’t always included.Concerning what it counts as a repeat enforcement, the agency said that while some violations may fall in the same category, they are not necessarily the same. That is consistent with its reviews, which sometimes note that violations were not “identical.”Mollot said it was “extremely alarming” that violations and fines might be omitted.In interviews, three former or current council members expressed uncertainty about what standards apply in character-and-competence reviews. With dozens of projects and ownership changes to vote on at each monthly meeting, council members must rely on the department’s information to do their jobs.For many of her years on the council, Regan chaired the establishment committee, which reviews applications to buy or build facilities. Members would often ask for more details about applicants’ histories, she said, “but what you do about it is difficult.” Operators argue that they have paid their fines and corrected deficiencies, she said, or that repeat violations were not connected.“I would argue, you know what, if you’re in business to find every opportunity to game the standards, and do the minimum, and give the shoddiest care you can possibly give while still getting out from under the deficiency, it should raise a question of whether you should hold a license,” Regan said.Arthur Levin, a current establishment committee member, said that he and others are increasingly asking the Health Department for information about quality of care, not just violations, especially for dialysis centers. Levin is director of the Center for Medical Consumers and the council’s lone representative from a patient group.“At the very least, let it be the basis of a question to an applicant: ‘What are you going to do to do better?’ ” Levin said.Three years ago, the council recommended changes to character-and-competence reviews as part of a regulatory overhaul requested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Among the proposals was one to give the department and council more discretion to disqualify applicants for patterns of violations across multiple facilities affiliated with an applicant.“When a proposed owner or trustee presents affiliations with a health care facility or agency that has a pattern of, or multiple, enforcements, or a sub-standard quality record, there should be a presumption of disqualification which may be rebutted in limited circumstances,” says the recommendation, which is still on the shelf.Recent versions of the safe-staffing bill would expand character-and-competence reviews to consider not only staffing but worker safety violations like those that resulted in 13 citations and $24,600 in fines to Avalon Gardens in 2013.In his short stay at Avalon Gardens, Charlie Stewart remembers waiting for hours for help getting from his bed to the toilet. One time, when no one answered the call bell, he started yelling, he said. Still no one came. Eventually he decided to crawl across the floor to the bathroom rather than soil the bed.“When you need help and it’s not coming, you know, your reality changes immediately,” said Stewart. “It’s not nice feeling helpless. And several times in that place, I gotta say, I felt like I was helpless.”On multiple occasions, Stewart said, no one brought him dinner, even though he needed to eat regularly because of his diabetes. His wife, Jeanne, said she thought pain medications were making him forgetful. But he kept calling. “I might have been drugged, but I know I wasn’t fed, ’cause I’m starving,” he recalls telling his wife.Fensterman said privacy laws prohibited SentosaCare from responding to specific questions about Stewart’s care.Jeanne said she called the Health Department while Charlie was still at Avalon to complain about the missed meals and lack of help getting to the bathroom. When a representative finally called back to follow up on her complaint, she told the caller she was sitting next to her husband in the hospital as he recovered from an amputation.A few weeks later, she said, a letter arrived saying the state hadn’t substantiated the initial complaint. Furious, Jeanne threw it away.Today, Stewart is learning how to walk up stairs on his prosthetic leg. Jeanne limits the hours in her job at a grocery store so she can care for her husband. She still finds the episode difficult to talk about.“I felt more could have been done sooner,” she said of her husband’s care. “And it just shouldn’t have gotten as far as it did.”Charlie Stewart agreed. “That’s what I sincerely wish — that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”Allegra Abramo is a freelance writer and photographer living in Seattle. Jennifer Lehman is a writer living in New York City.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. 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It can be hard enough to tackle your own spending habits and pay, much less discuss them with another person. But whether it’s planning for the future with your significant other or managing expectations with friends who like to spend more than you, there are several important conversations you need to be prepared for.Of course, money talk is also important outside your personal relationships. People are often reluctant to talk about compensation in the workplace — and it’s even tougher for women, who research shows get penalized for negotiating salaries. But you need to know how to discuss compensation, whether you’re interviewing for a new job or about to have a year-end review.It’s crucial to have a conversation about money with the following people:Your Spouse Or PartnerIf you’re sharing a life with someone, you’re likely sharing expenses, too. That can range from splitting the grocery bills to planning for long-term health care insurance and your children’s education. continue reading » 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA’s political action committee on Tuesday announced its final independent expenditure of this election cycle—television advertising on behalf of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).The Mississippi election is unique; it is a special election for the seat that had been held by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who resigned for health reasons. Hyde-Smith was appointed to replace Cochran and she is now running for a term that will expire in 2021.The advertisement says that Hyde-Smith is the state’s first woman senator and highlights her position on defense spending and de-regulation. The ad is financed through an independent expenditure by CULAC, CUNA’s political action committee. Federal law prohibits any coordination with a candidate’s campaign if the contribution is an independent expenditure.Hyde-Smith, the former state Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, is running against three other candidates, all of whom will appear on the ballot without party affiliation. If no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote, the two frontrunners will face off in a runoff on Nov. 27.
“Meanwhile, services that are carried out through social interactions would be temporarily closed or halted as of March 16,” said BI spokesman Onny Widjanarko in a statement.Read also: Stay home, President saysPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo highlighted on Sunday the importance of practicing what is called “social distancing” to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus that has already claimed thousands of lives worldwide. He called on the citizens to work, study and worship at home as the coronavirus has infected 134 people in Indonesia and killed five among them.The central bank, meanwhile, would close its mobile cash services in cities and outermost, frontier and least developed places throughout the nation. BI would also close its damaged money exchange service and its counterfeit money reporting services. BI would cancel public visits and close the Bank Indonesia Visitor Center. Furthermore, the Bank Indonesia Museum and Bank Indonesia Library would also be closed to the public.The central bank established measures to ensure that banknotes distributed to the public have been thoroughly disinfected to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus as well. The central bank is also quarantining banknotes received from banks for 14 days prior to disinfecting and redistributing them to the public.“BI is enacting, among other things, a work-from-home mechanism for all of its employees,” Onny said. Similarly, the OJK on Tuesday told more than 70 percent of its employees to work from home to contain the coronavirus spread and limited working hours for those who are still required to go to the office. It also limited visitation services and advised customers to use online and phone channels if they need the OJK’s assistance.Read also: COVID-19: Patchy response to President’s call to work from homeState-owned Bank Mandiri has also been allowing some of its employees to work from home since Monday.However, the bank’s corporate secretary, Rully Setiawan, said that all Bank Mandiri branches would operate regularly from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Its ATMs would also be open for 24 hours as usual.“Bank Mandiri is implementing split-team and work-from-home mechanisms for most of our work units,” he said in a statement. “In the current situation, our priority is the health and safety of our clients and employees.”He also suggested Bank Mandiri clients to use its Mandiri Online mobile application to access its services for things like transferring funds and opening new saving accounts. Bank Indonesia (BI) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) have limited their direct services while pushing their online services in a bid to implement social distancing to contain the COVID-19 spread.The central bank announced on Monday that certain services, such as the BI Real Time Gross Settlement service, BI National Clearing System and rupiah and foreign exchange monetary transactions supported by the BI Scripless Securities Settlement System to transfer funds, securities and settle payments among banks, would continue to operate normally.The BI Electronic Trading Platform and money withdrawal and deposit services from banks through ATMs and cash deposit machines would also operate as usual. Topics :
Half-Ton Butter Sculpture Highlights ‘Choose PA Dairy’ Campaign January 03, 2019 Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding today helped unveil the Farm Show butter sculpture, carved from a half-ton of butter and depicting the Choose PA Dairy ‘Find Your Power’ campaign. The sculpture, a longtime Farm Show staple, encourages Pennsylvanians to support our state’s dairy industry.“People from across the commonwealth look forward to Farm Show each year, and this sculpture is one of the most beloved parts of this annual event,” said Gov. Wolf. “But it’s more than just butter. It’s a way for us to honor our dairy industry in a fun and memorable way – an industry that we work hard to promote and support year-round.”The sculpture, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East (ADANE), features several individuals donning superhero capes, including an athlete, a soldier, a doctor, a firefighter, and a dairy farmer. The sculptors began work in mid-December to craft the work of art from butter donated by Land O’ Lakes in Carlisle, Cumberland County.“This year’s Farm Show theme is Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story, and the butter sculpture has for many years been a part of that story,” said Sec. Redding. “No matter which shape it takes on from year to year, it’s always a celebration of our state’s dairy industry, and of the rich history of the entire agriculture industry.”Also on hand to unveil the sculpture were Marilyn Hershey of Ar-Joy Farms in Chester County; Charlie Batch, two-time Super Bowl Champion and former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers; and sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Montgomery County.“The butter sculpture sends a powerful message and is a great reminder to consumers to choose local Pennsylvania milk and dairy products,” said Marilyn Hershey on behalf of the state’s dairy farm families. “Milk’s nutrients fuel our body and our brain, so no matter what you do in life, be sure to get three servings of dairy every day.”“As a professional athlete, it was important for me to fuel up on nutritious foods to not only perform my best on the field, but to also give me the strength and energy I needed for the entire day,” said Charlie Batch, former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Milk was one of those super foods that has powered me along the way from youth sports on up to the NFL, and even still to this day.”The butter sculpture is on display in the Farm Show’s Main Hall. Following the Farm Show, the butter will be moved to the Reinford Farm in Juniata County to be converted into renewable energy in the farm’s methane digester.The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 5 – 12, 2019. Admission is free and parking is $15 in Farm Show lots. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 83. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has fined a UK trustee company for failing to file a new governance statement required from all defined contribution (DC) trustees.Pitmans Trustees Limited (PTL) was fined a total of £6,000 (€6,900) by the regulator, with the maximum possible fine of £2,000 levied against three breaches, over its failure to submit signed governance statements on behalf of three schemes.Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, warned that it would enforce the law where schemes fail to have a governance statement signed off by the DC fund’s chair of trustees.A case report prepared by TPR said the breaches related to the Precision Carbide Tools Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, the Comshare Retirement and Death Benefits Plan and the EBC Pension Scheme. “In their correspondence, PTL told us that they had taken action and prepared the required statements after the breaches had occurred,” TPR’s report on the matter added.It continued that the maximum fine was imposed, as there wee no mitigating factors, and all three funds employed a professional trustee.Parish added: “Professional trustees are expected to meet a higher standard of care and to demonstrate a greater level of knowledge and understanding than other trustees.“We will act where trustees demonstrate that they are not complying even with the basic duties we expect,” she said.PTL could not be reached for comment at time of writing.TPR had previously issued a £500 warning to the trustee of the Abbey Manor Group Pension Scheme for failing to sign the new chair’s statement.It comes as the regulator pushes for improved trustee standards, setting out its vision of modern trusteeship in a recent consultation.
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:14Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:14 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow do celebrities organise their pantry? 01:15 The rainforest retreat at 23 and 23A Katta Ave, Currumbin, fetched $3.8 million. The rock star apparently enjoyed doing his pilates on the deck. Sting once stayed at the house. Interstate buyers purchased the two homes.The two properties are on one allotment but the vendors sought approval to obtain separate titles.They did not activate it in case a buyer wanted to purchase the properties as one. Mr Cinelli said the buyers were attracted to the position, aspect and privacy of the homes. “(He loved) the fact that the property is north-facing, there’s not many that have absolute north-facing on Currumbin Hill,” he said. “This guy is a pilot and does a lot of plane spotting so he also loved the fact he could watch the planes come in.“This is the highest price achieved in Currumbin this year and is a sign of the strength on the market and confidence in the area.” More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago No. 23A has been leased as luxury short-term accommodation.LJ Hooker Palm Beach agent Rob Cinelli, who marketed the property alongside Leanne Frohmuller, said a pilot from Sydney and his family secured the keys to both properties. “They are from interstate and do own a holiday apartment on the southern Gold Coast, which they have elected to sell,” he said. “The main house will most definitely be used as the family home and he is undetermined what he will do with the second one. “He may choose to activate the separate title and sell it off or keep it for extended family.“I don’t think he will commercialise it.” MORE NEWS: Playing field between renters and landlords evens out MORE NEWS: Why one Coast suburb’s house price has been slashed in half A holiday home to the stars and a connecting property have sold in a double deal.A CURRUMBIN rainforest retreat that has hosted celebrities like rock star Sting has sold in a multimillion-dollar deal. The three-bedroom holiday home at 23A Katta Ave sold in a double deal with a connected six-bedroom house at No 23. The pair fetched a whopping $3.8 million. The additional residence at 23A was used as luxury short-term accommodation for more than a decade and was leased out at more than $1000 a night during peak seasons. The owners Michael and Sally Tolerton said they had a guest book signed by a myriad of personalities, including Sting who called it “peaceful, beautiful and inspiring” and a French actress who was working on a “difficult” film on the Coast while staying there wrote “even in hell you can sometimes find heaven”.The vendors both worked in the film for 40 years as an art director and makeup artist and said Hollywood stars, directors and producers would often visit their home. The pair sold to enjoy the Mediterranean in their retirement after purchasing a house on a Greek island.
LocalNews Justice Brooks concerned that female juvenile is housed among adult inmates by: – July 13, 2011 79 Views one comment Share Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Photo credit: lazytechguys.comHigh Court Judge Bernie Stephenson Brooks has given strict instructions to the Dominica States Prison to remove a 14 year old female juvenile from among the adult inmates.Justice Bernie Stevenson Brooks told the official closing of the May criminal assizes that the prison is in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which Dominica has ratified.She said special accommodation arrangements must be made for the juvenile in question.“We really cannot have a female juvenile with an adult. I know that our facilities are limited but in some countries they have had to rent accommodations. Because in truth and in fact, they are not to be in jail they are meant to be in places of safety. Children under the age of 18. worst yet children under the age of 16 are not meant to be housed in jails but in what is termed places of safety,” she said.According to Brooks, there is liability that could be “attracted if anything happens to them. They are there because we say they are bad, but juveniles are also special, both the male and female,’ she said.Dominica Vibes News
Share Share NewsRegional Barbados police fight crime with technology by: – February 3, 2012 Share Tweet 12 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Mr Brathwaite explained that the Pro Mat system was fair and allowed police to provide eight individuals of similar build and characteristics to an accused person.BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday February 3, 2012 – Victims of crimes in Barbados can soon identify their attackers without having to come face to face with them.And charges of police brutality during interrogation will also be harder to prove as the Royal Barbados Police Force prepares to roll out new state-of-the-art technology to record such proceedings.This will all be possible as police implement devices such as the Cardinal Peak CaseCracker and the Promat system, both designed to bring a higher level of transparency to the interviewing of suspects by lawmen, and the identification of suspects.And the country’s Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite has promised that amendments to the legislative framework to govern its use will be in place within another six months.He added that the equipment will be installed at five police stations initially, but noted the intention was to have all stations outfitted.The Pro Mat system will allow police to show victims of crime photographs and videos of headshots to allow them to point out their attacker. It is mobile and can be transported to victims in hospital or those who are unable to go to a police station.Mr Brathwaite explained that the Pro Mat system was fair and allowed police to provide eight individuals of similar build and characteristics to an accused person.But he said there were still some kinks to be ironed out with the Pro Mat as it relates to getting people to volunteer their photographs. “We have one or two challenges from the point of view that not enough suites are readily available,” the Attorney-General said.As a result the new technology will only be available for serious crimes in the initial stages.Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Oral Williams explained the CaseCracker involved the use of two cameras, both placed in one room, with one focused on the entire room and the other on the suspect. The interview of a suspect by police in the presence of their attorney is recorded.“When the interview is finished you can play it back and see exactly what transpired,” explained Mr Williams.Caribbean 360 News
NewsRegional Death toll rises from immigrant boat accident by: – February 6, 2012 Sharing is caring! Share Share A total of six women and 12 men were confirmed dead.SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Monday February 6, 2012 –The death toll of migrants on board a boat which capsized over the weekend continues to rise. The death toll now stands at 18 while there are 19 known survivors, including the boat’s captain, who were among the 70 on board the vessel that attempted to sail from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.Rescue efforts are expected to resume today after being discontinued due to darkness last night. However, rescue workers are doubtful that there will be any more survivors with the passage of time.A US Coast Guard cutter Capella, two speedboats and two rescued craft joined six fishing boats that volunteered to rescue people who were on board the boat that sank in Samana Bay on Saturday.A total of six women and 12 men were confirmed dead, while some of the 19 survivors are expected to be taken to the Sabana de la Mar Navy Station as suspects, and some to the hospital where they will be treated for various injuries.Caribbean 360 News 9 Views no discussions Share Tweet