Consolidated on track to increase broadband speeds to 500,000 customers this year

first_imgConsolidated Communications,Vermont Business Magazine Consolidated Communications, Inc, (NASDAQ: CNSL) announced on Monday that more than 365,000 residents and businesses across Northern New England now have faster broadband speeds as the company works to upgrade 500,000 total customer locations this year. “We made a commitment to increase broadband speeds throughout Northern New England and we’re on track to complete these upgrades to 500,000 homes and small businesses by the end of 2018,” said Bob Udell, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Communications. “We’re working hard to bring faster speeds and new products and services to Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, and we’re also making great strides to improve network reliability and stability.”Consolidated Communications, Vermont’s largest telecom, said in a press release that it has made delivering faster broadband speeds a top priority. Residents and small businesses across Northern New England will be able to get speeds two to three times faster than what was previously available. Additionally, consumers now have access to the latest, on-demand streaming content including: HBO Now®, DIRECTV NowSM, and fuboTV. The company’s MyCCIAccount.com(link is external) center enables customers to place new orders and upgrade services online.Businesses also are benefiting from new services, such as: Consolidated’s Distributed Denial of Service Mitigation(link is external) (DDoS), a solution that monitors, detects and mitigates the most complex DDoS attacks; SD-WAN(link is external), a software-based network technology that provides a simplified management and automation of WAN connections; BusinessOne(link is external), a high-speed data and voice solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses; MPLS(link is external) (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) offering businesses fast, flexible, and secure data transmission for their WAN needs and Cloud Peer Connect(link is external), direct, private access to major application service providers.About Consolidated Communications Consolidated Communications(link is external) Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL) is a leading broadband and business communications provider serving consumers, businesses of all sizes, and wireless companies and carriers, across a 23-state service area. Leveraging its advanced fiber optic network spanning more than 36,000 fiber route miles, Consolidated Communications offers a wide range of communications solutions, including: data, voice, video, managed services, cloud computing and wireless backhaul. Headquartered in Mattoon, Ill., Consolidated Communications has been providing services in many of its markets for more than a century.Source: PORTLAND, Maine – Oct. 29, 2018 – Consolidated Communications(link is external), Inclast_img read more

Roeland Park residents offer no objections at community forum to investment in city infrastructure, bonding plan

first_imgRoeland Park City Administrator answered questions from residents after a budget forum Wednesday.Roeland Park residents who commented on a proposal to invest in the city’s infrastructure by using bonds over the next few years generally supported the plan.Among those supporting the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was former council member Marek Gliniecki. “When I first came on the council it was like flying by the seat of our pants,” Gliniecki said. “I can’t fault it (the CIP).”Jim Haley was another resident who supported the CIP. “It was really well thought out,” he said, after City Administrator Keith Moody presented both the current plan for the city’s budget in 2017 and an analysis of the cost of living in Roeland Park compared to other cities around the metro.The CIP has been expanded to look out 10 years at the need for projects, buildings and equipment. The first five years “has exceptionally high investment,” Moody said, because of major street and storm water projects.The first five years also includes the prospect of finding a new location for the public works department. The current facility is located above the old pool site and caves that the city is attempting to redevelop. It is likely that a new development would want to incorporate the space where the public works building sits.Moody said it would be impossible to do the projects listed in the first five years without doing bond issues that are planned for 2018 and 2021. The analysis, Moody said, shows the bond issues would be needed to accomplish everything on the list, including major street projects. One of the goals of the CIP is to bring street maintenance up to date. Moody said the city had been doing smaller issues more frequently and then refinancing to combine them.Several city council members had been hesitant to support the bonding idea without taking it to the public forum for citizen comment.last_img read more

A new day for Shawnee Mission schools as voters sweep out incumbents, vote in newcomers calling for transparency

first_imgLaura Guy’s defeat of 20 year incumbent Craig Denny means there will be a new president of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education. She watched the final election results come in Tuesday night with members of the group Education First Shawnee Mission in downtown Overland Park.Shawnee Mission patrons headed to the polls Tuesday and delivered a crystal clear message to the district’s central office: It’s time for a big change.Register to continuelast_img

Analysis of MDMA studies suggests ‘ecstasy’ can damage brain’s serotonin system

first_imgResearchers from the University of Liverpool have conducted a study examining the effect ecstasy has on different parts of the brain.Dr Carl Roberts and Dr Andrew Jones, from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, and Dr Cathy Montgomery from Liverpool John Moores University conducted an analysis of seven independent studies that used molecular imaging to examine the neuropsychological effect of ecstasy on people that use the drug regularly.A number of studies have compared ecstasy users to control groups on various measures of neuropsychological function in order to determine whether ecstasy use results in lasting cognitive deficits. It is common, however, for ecstasy users to use other drugs alongside the substance, and therefore the Liverpool team aimed to discover whether this had any bearing on the impact of the drug. The nerve pathway that is predominantly affected by ecstasy is called the serotonin pathway. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is synthesized, stored, and released by specific neurons in this pathway. It is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain, including mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, appetite, anxiety, memory, and perceptions.They found that ecstasy users showed significant reductions in the way serotonin is transported in the brain. This can have a particular impact on regulating appropriate emotional reactions to situations.Dr Roberts, said: “The research team conducted the analysis on seven papers that fitted our inclusion criteria which provided us with data from 157 ecstasy users and 148 controls. 11 out of the 14 brain regions included in analysis showed serotonin transporter (SERT) reductions in ecstasy users compared to those who took other drugs.“We conclude that, in line with animal data, the nerve fibres, or axons, furthest away from where serotonin neurons are produced (in the raphe nuclei) are most susceptible to the effects of MDMA. That is to say that these areas show the greatest changes following MDMA use.“The clinical significance of these findings is speculative, however it is conceivable that the observed effects on serotonin neurons contribute to mood changes associated with ecstasy/MDMA use, as well as other psychobiological changes. Furthermore the observed effects on the serotonin system inferred from the current analysis, may underpin the cognitive deficits observed in ecstasy users.“The study provides us with a platform for further research into the effect long term chronic ecstasy use can have on brain function.” Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share Share on Facebook Emaillast_img read more

News Scan for Sep 23, 2020

first_imgFlorida reports more dengue cases in Miami-Dade and Monroe countiesThe Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) this week announced that a second local dengue case has been reported from Miami-Dade County, and last week it confirmed another local dengue case in Monroe County, raising the total in the county, which includes the Florida Keys, to 56.In a statement on the new Miami-Dade case, health officials urged residents to take precautions such as draining standing water, covering skin and clothing with repellent, and covering doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out. This is the county’s second locally acquired dengue case of 2020.Florida Health announced the new Monroe County case on Sep 17, noting that indications suggest that the patient contracted dengue locally and is expected to make a full recovery. It noted that dengue symptoms can resemble severe flu, with patients experiencing severe muscle aches and pain, fever, and sometimes a rash. Typically, there are no respiratory symptoms.Sep 21 Florida Health statement on Miami-Dade case Sep 17 Florida Health statement on Monroe County case Three countries report more high-path avian flu in poultry, waterfowlIn the latest highly pathogenic avian flu outbreak developments, the Philippines reports another outbreak involving H5N6, Russia confirmed more H5N8 detections in wild birds, and Taiwan reported more H5N5 events in poultry, according to the latest notifications from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).In the Philippines, the H5N6 outbreak began on Aug 10, affecting backyard poultry in Rizal province on Luzon, the country’s largest island. The virus killed 20 of 171 susceptible birds, and 10 owners have surrendered their flocks for culling. The source of the virus is thought to be contact with wild birds. The last H5N6 outbreak in the Philippines occurred in July and affected a commercial layer farm in Pampagna province.Russia reported six more H5N8 outbreaks in wild birds, with start dates ranging from Aug 14 to Sep 7, all in the southwest, where recent poultry outbreaks were reported. The virus killed five waterfowl and sickened a tufted duck, which was destroyed as part of the outbreak response.Finally, Taiwan reported two more H5N5 outbreaks, which struck poultry farms in Yunlin County, killing 5,728 of 27,477 susceptible birds. Taiwan reported its first H5N5 outbreak a year ago, followed by more sporadic detections, including earlier this month.Sep 22 OIE report on H5N6 in the Philippines Sep 22 OIE report on H5N8 in Russia Sep 21 OIE report on H5N5 in Taiwanlast_img read more

‘The Height Of The Storm’

first_imgL.O.V.E.R.What woman doesn’t dream of having her own washing machine? Usually, however, it isn’t a momentous issue — at least not in the way Lois Robbins’s claims it to be in her solo show, “L.O.V.E.R.”Indeed, her tale of serial monogamy begins with the washing machine she masturbated on as a child. Discovering how to turn on the spin cycle was an epiphany. Finding the right husband was more challenging. As she tells us later in the 90-minute performance piece, “Good sex isn’t about what’s between your legs. It’s between your ears.”As is her wont, Robbins’s autobiographical solo show is light-hearted and entertaining. Her ability to vehiculate in spite of obstacles, health scares, bad relationships, and nasty men make her an endearing presence, and one with whom we can readily identify.Woven into her recollections are recognizable patterns of abuse, such as many women talk about these days. In her case, a manipulative father who made her afraid of men, while making her feel that she could never manage without one, spurred the inner turmoil.Still, her comedy is fueled by the men who come and go quickly, and in the play, seamlessly, from Siler, who remains chaste, to Ronald, who proves himself in a way washing machines never do. Onto Edward for further explorations, before landing the Doctor who was born with one testicle, etc., etc., etc.On the subject of herself, Robbins is obviously loquacious, but she is not narcissistic. Reflecting on her teenage years, she recalls her inner doubts, “Am I actually pretty? Somewhere inside, I don’t quite believe it,” she opines.And while her career as an actor is extensive — playing roles in soaps, primetime television, films, and musical theater — she is also understated about her accomplishments. Her most ambitious job, she informs us, was parenting. After all, her own parents were controlling puppeteers, and she was not going to be like them.That Robbins is as lovable for her mistakes and dalliances as she is for her loyalties and sense of commitment, makes her story fun without intimidation. She dresses simply, in lavender workout clothes, and a long sweater. They’re easy to move in when demonstrating orgasms of the washing machine-worthy variety.And Jane Shaw’s set design creates an open, multi-tiered playing area with a sleek silver stairway, and chandeliers made from household glassware.Director Karen Carpenter brings out Robbins’s on-stage ease and charm. The actress isn’t seeped in feminism, but she gives sexual autonomy a meaningful plug. Share French playwright Florian Zeller, well known in New York theater for his plays, “The Father” (Frank Langella) and “The Mother” (Isabelle Huppert), tells stories in a most outré fashion. Currently, “The Height of The Storm,” translated by Christopher Hampton, at the Manhattan Theatre Club, stars two masters of the British stage, Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins.That Zeller’s plays are lodged somewhere in his characters’ psychic machinations and projections makes the presence of such accomplished actors essential. To create a fundamental, believable reality, dispense of it like soap bubbles, reinvent it with memories, and score it with infidelities in the way Zeller’s characters do, requires the unshakeable confidence and skill of stage icons the size of Atkins and Pryce.In “Height of The Storm,” Zeller addresses his ongoing interest in the life of the mysterious mind, through Andre’s Kafkaesque trials. As portrayed by a nearly wild and disheveled Pryce, Andre cannot accept what is going on around him. He’s tortured from beginning to end by the demands his daughters and so-called friends are putting on him to move into housing more suitable for the elderly. Perhaps, he’s suffering from dementia.Finally, as he sees reality falling away from him — in spite of his vigorous denial — he implores them, “What is my position here? What is my position? My position! What is my position here? My position. Here. What is it?”To make matters more complicated, Andre is a writer, a builder of fictions, and a diarist who declares his infidelities in his personal journals. At times, it appears that he may already be in the grave. At others, that he’s just harboring secrets, or mourning the loss of his wife, Madeline. Regardless, he fears exposure and reprisal in the same way he fears death. His demented mental state, and his paranoia, both appear to be a way of getting back.In contrast, Atkins portrays Madeline, with a taut and balanced air. Attending to the vegetable garden, preparing their favorite omelet with mushrooms (which “can go either way”), and weeding out her daughters’ complaints are the spine of her daily life. While lithe, she is also reflective.Like Andre, Madeline is opaque. Is she the one who has died, and therefore the cause of Andre’s existential grief? Or, is she the memory around which life continues to gyrate? One never knows.What is important is the fact that together they make a whole person. Otherwise, who knows. Without the cocoon of marriage who would they be, what would they do, how would they manage? These are questions both the audience and the other characters also have.Surrounded by a well-honed ensemble, Amanda Drew and Lisa O’Hare as their daughters, Lucy Cohu as The Woman and James Hillier as The Man, the old couples’ secrets remain under shrouds. Try as they may, or as Andre fears they may, we never really pierce the mysteries that are here.Anthony Ward’s scenic design of a warm country kitchen, and Hugh Vanstone’s nuanced lighting create an intense environment, cast in shadows, and often foggy. Director Jonathan Kent masterfully leads the way through the land mines Zeller has put in place.last_img read more

TTA Takes Delivery of MV Thor Breeze

first_imgThoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited confirmed that Thoresen Shipping Singapore Pte. Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of TTA, officially took delivery of M.V. Thor Breeze from Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, Vietnam (Vinashin) on 20 August 2013.This most recent addition to the Thoresen fleet reaffirms the Company’s long-term strategy to own and operate a modern and competitive dry bulk shipping fleet with low operating costs.The Vessel has a 53,506 deadweight ton capacity double skin Supramax Bulk Carrier and was ordered in September 2007. It is fully equipped with four cargo cranes, each of which has a safe working load of 36 metric tons. M.V. Thor Breeze is the second newbuild vessel ordered from Vinashin.After the delivery of M.V. Thor Breeze, the Thoresen owned fleet will consist of 18 vessels with an average size of 48,902 DWT and an average age of 10.63 years.[mappress]Press Release, August 23, 2013last_img read more

Read of the Week

first_imgThe Moment of LiftMelinda GatesPan MacmillanReview: Nolusindiso Mgujulwa Through her travels Melinda Gates has come to the realisation that if you want to uplift a society, empower and invest in its women.In this book, Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, shares the stories of some of the inspiring women she’s met around the world. She compares data and points out important issues that need our attention such as gender inequality, child labour, the importance of contraceptives and family planning.Gates describes how her multiple encounters with women in rural villages broadened her perspective from a narrow focus on family planning to more comprehensive initiatives, including everything from educating girls to maternal and child health. She also provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference.This book is a thoughtful look at the problems behind inequality among some of the most marginalised people in the world.Gates writes about how talking with both young and old women about family planning and contraceptives laid bare many more of the worst injustices women face worldwide, such as female genital cutting, child marriage, rape, domestic violence and unpaid labour. Her stories of meeting some of these women and girls are heartbreaking but essential reading, especially for us South Africans who may not be as aware of these practices as we should be. Some of these women experience extreme poverty and isolation, which makes it almost impossible for them to provide for and protect their children. As a result, the cycle of abuse and poverty continues.Gates says it’s important to start shifting the dynamic at home which will then extend to the wider community: “When a woman has her full voice and decision-making authority, she empowers everybody around her.” If you want to understand the roots of poverty in our country and others, then read this book. You will be moved to tears by the compassion in so many souls.last_img read more

Commission: ‘strong argument in favour of a UK bill of rights’

first_imgThe commission that has spent 21 months and £700,000 investigating the creation of a UK bill of rights has come out in favour of a bill that would ‘incorporate and build on all of the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)’. However, the commission failed to reach a consensus. While seven members believe that ‘on balance, there is a strong argument in favour of a UK bill of rights’, two members dissented, saying the commission has failed to identify or declare any shortcomings in the Human Rights Act or its application by our courts. In a statement, the commission chair, the former permanent secretary Sir Leigh Lewis, put a brave face on the split. ‘We are united in believing that there needs to be respect for the existence of different intellectually coherent viewpoints in relation to the human rights debate, and in believing that the debate needs to be well informed and not distorted by the stereotypes and caricatures that have all too often characterised it in recent years,’ Lewis said. ‘We hope that all of those interested in these vitally important issues will read our report.’ The government reacted coolly. The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, thanked the commission for the ‘diligent manner’ in which it discharged its task. In a written ministerial statement he said: ‘We will now give the report careful consideration.’ The report says it would be wrong to reach firm conclusions around additional rights in any bill, not least because it has failed to reach agreement that there is a case for a bill. Should a bill of rights be passed, consideration should be given to including ‘additional rights to those currently in the ECHR’. Additional rights are likely to include the right to equality and non-discrimination, and a ‘set of rights relating to our civil and criminal justice system’, such as the right to trial by jury. The commission’s report says that future debate must be sensitive to issues of devolution and, in the case of Scotland, possible independence. Members agreed that the ‘concept of responsibilities’ should be debated and that the government should continue to press for reform of the European Court of Human Rights. The commission’s conclusions, the report says, are put forward as a contribution to a ‘continuing national debate’ and should not be regarded as a ‘final judgment on the issues (that it has) been asked to examine’. The report, ‘A UK bill of rights? – the choice before us’, can be read at the Justice website.last_img read more

BDB-Pitmans merger to create 80-partner firm

first_imgTop 100 firm Bircham Dyson Bell and Thames Valley practice Pitmans have revealed plans for a merger that would create an 80-partner firm. According to a joint announcement, the firms are in ‘exploratory merger discussions’. Partners will take a formal vote on Thursday 27 September. The announcement said that the firms had identified ‘a number of obvious synergies including sector focus, culture and geography’. A merger would ‘propel the firm towards the top 50 for revenue in the UK, with a headcount of 80 partners and 404 staff’, it added. ‘We have decided to make this announcement now so that we can be transparent with our staff and clients throughout the process. As the discussions progress we will make further announcements.’In the year ending 31 May 2017, Westminster-headquartered Bircham Dyson Bell reported profits of £10.9m on a turnover of £34.8m, respectively 7.7% and 3.4% up on the previous year. Its most recent expansion was last year’s acquisition of the real estate team of King & Wood Malleson’s European arm in Cambridge. Pitmans, headquartered in Reading with offices in London and Southampton, reported pre-tax profits of £5.7m on a turnover of £19.4m for the year ending 30 April 2017.last_img read more