Kinney Pike wins quality award, again

first_imgKinney Pike Insurance, Inc,Vermont Business Magazine Kinney Pike Insurance is proud to announce the company has received the E&O Plus Quality Management Award for the fourth consecutive year. This award is presented to insurance agencies demonstrating outstanding devotion to quality management in serving their clients and a commitment to excellence in the area of Errors & Omissions prevention and mitigation.  This mark of distinction puts Kinney Pike Insurance in an elite group, as it is one of only 23 firms participating in the E&O Plus Program to receive this award for 2017.Kinney Pike Insurance recently underwent a rigorous audit and the award is based on their commitment and compliance to providing quality services.  The audit and annual quality award are conducted and presented by E&O Plus, a risk retention group sponsored by Assurex Global, a worldwide network of insurance brokers.”This honor highlights the exceptional work of our employees in our commitment to quality, professionalism, and exceptional service to our clients,” stated Doug Corman, Kinney Pike Insurance Principal.  “We routinely audit our work to ensure we’re providing the best possible service to our clients, and are very proud to share this award with our employees.” Kinney Pike Insurance, founded in 1904, is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Northern New England with seven locations: Rutland, White River Junction, Williston, Randolph, St. Johnsbury, Poultney and Swanton.  Kinney Pike is a full-service agency specializing in commercial insurance, personal insurance and employee benefits.  Kinney Pike holds the distinction of being Vermont’s only Assurex Global Partner, a prestigious international consortium of top brokers worldwide.,Yeslast_img read more

BCTV: FCC action threatens future

first_imgBCTV at Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting in March 2018 – an 11-hour meeting broadcast live on cable, YouTube and Facebook Live by BCTVVermont Business Magazine BCTV today announced in a press release that its future and that of similar organizations around Vermont and the country is in serious jeopardy. On September 25, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued proposed rulemaking (Docket 05-311) which, if successful, could allow cable operators to reclassify certain services and charge those against the cable subscriber fees that are collected to fund public access stations in Vermont and across the country.Cor Trowbridge, executive director of BCTV says, “It’s conceivable that BCTV’s operating funds could be eliminated.” BCTV and like public access stations nationwide could cease to exist,” she said.Specifically, the proposed FCC rulemaking will allow cable companies to assess the value for ‘in kind’ services related to providing PEG channels and deduct that amount from the Franchise Fees passed to municipalities and nonprofits like BCTV.These loosely defined ‘in kind’ costs can include the ‘value’ of the cable channels themselves as well as any other services provided. The FCC ruling fails to set any guidelines or limitations to the values that cable companies can assess. According to its press release, the FCC’s stated objective is to “reduce barriers to infrastructure investment.”Trowbridge and other station managers are concerned that the rule change could put PEG stations out of business and are calling on supporters to take a moment to file comments with the FCC expressing outrage at its proposed actions. Instructions for filing comments are available at brattleborotv.org(link is external), BCTV’s website. “Comments” must be filed by December 14 at 11:59 PM.Lawmakers were quick to respond to the impending loss of vital services the PEG stations provide. In Vermont, both Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders have signed onto a letter by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey to Trump-appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. The October 29 letter objects to the fact that the proposal would “alter, at the cable operators’ discretion, the terms of the local franchise agreements,” thereby putting “at risk critical funding for public, education, governmental stations, as well as broadband connections to schools and other public buildings.”Other senators signing the letter include Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.;Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.BCTV and stations like it provide transparent coverage of local government meetings, educational matters and community events, coverage that is available nowhere else. BCTV also provides equipment and training that allow community members to create content, reaching viewers on cable channels 8 and 10 and online. BCTV’s staff and volunteers produce over 1200 hours of original local content each year. BCTV was named winner of the Overall Excellence Award from the Alliance for Community Media in 2016 and again in 2018.Brattleboro, Guilford and Vernon receive BCTV’s signal via Comcast Cable, while residents of Dummerston, Jamaica, Newfane, Putney and Townshend receive BCTV via Southern Vermont Cable. BCTV’s channels reach 6,000 subscriber households. Currently BCTV relies on cable revenues for 85% of its annual budget, or $250,000. According to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, public access television is one of the most exciting and democratic U.S. media developments perhaps ever. The rationale for public access television was that, as mandated by the Federal Communications Act of 1934, the airwaves belong to the people, that in a democratic society it is useful to multiply public participation in political discussion, and that mainstream television severely limited the range of views and opinion. Public access television, then, would open television to the public. It would make possible community participation, and thus would be in the public interest of strengthening democracy.The term “Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) Access” was officially adopted by the federal government in its Cable Communications Act of 1984, which, by building upon what was already fairly well established in cabled communities around the country, allowed local cable franchising authorities to require cable operators to set-aside one or more of their cable television channels to non-commercial, nonprofit local programming, and also to house, equip and fund these operations.“The future of public access is uncertain and with it a critical venue for the people and communities to participate in our democracy,” adds Trowbridge. Source: BRATTLEBORO, VT—November 30, 2018—BCTVlast_img read more

Gophers tie best finish in school history by placing third at Big Ten Indoors

first_imgGophers tie best finish in school history by placing third at Big Ten Indoors Matt AndersonFebruary 28, 2005Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintComing off of a ninth-place finish at last year’s Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, Minnesota women’s track and field coach Gary Wilson said he thought his young team would do well if they could finish fifth at this year’s indoor championships.The Gophers went beyond the expectations of even their coach at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich., placing third with 79 points, five points ahead of fourth place Michigan, and 38.5 behind Illinois for second.“It was just an absolutely fantastic weekend,” Wilson said. “We’ve just got a good and balanced team.”Freshman Liz Roehrig started Minnesota on its way Saturday, taking first in the heptathlon with an NCAA provisional qualifying score of 3,801.“It was really good and important,” she said. “Performing well at the beginning; it gets everyone else going, gets their adrenaline flowing.”Roehrig was one of just two individual champions for Minnesota, along with junior Mollie Hupp in the 600 meters.Hupp set a Michigan Indoor Track Building 600 meter record with a time of 1:31.57.With just two throwers scoring points for the Gophers and only two first-place finishers, Minnesota was anchored by solid pack finishes in the running events.After the surprising success in Michigan, Hupp said the team can carry that into the spring. Wilson said the strong indoor finish for his young team will help act as a springboard heading into the outdoor season.“I think they know they can play this game and play it with anybody,” he said.And heading into the outdoor season, the team’s indoor success provides Wilson with an even rosier outlook.“Historically, we’re a place or two better at the outdoor championships,” he said. “Another top-three finish there would be great.”Men fifth at Big TensMinnesota’s men’s track and field team placed fifth during the weekend at the Big Ten Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.Individual highlights for the Gophers came in the heptathlon, in which Travis Brandstatter finished first and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, and in the high jump, in which Bryant Howe won the individual crown.Coach Phil Lundin said that for a team he expected to finish in the second division, taking fifth was successful.“We didn’t have the depth that we’ve had in previous years,” Lundin said. “We were able to have a good weekend moving into fifth.”last_img read more

Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Aug 24, 2020

first_imgCMS sepsis bundle linked to increased use of broad-spectrum antibioticsImplementation of a core measure sepsis bundle by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was associated with an immediate and long-term increase in the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics for hospital-onset multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms, researchers reported late last week in Clinical Infectious Diseases.In the study, a team led by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University evaluated monthly antibiotic data for four categories of antibiotics at 111 US hospitals before and after the 2015 implementation of the Sepsis Bundle Core Performance Measure for hospitals participating in Inpatient Quality Reporting (SEP-1). One element of the bundle is initiation of broad-spectrum antibiotics within 3 hours of sepsis diagnosis. The four antibiotic categories evaluated included antibiotics for surgical prophylaxis, broad-spectrum agents for community-acquired infections, broad-spectrum antibiotics for hospital-onset/MDR organisms, and anti–methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus agents.Using interrupted time series and negative binomial regression analyses, the researchers observed an immediate increase in the level of broad-spectrum agents for hospital-onset/MDR organisms (+ 2.3%, P = .0375) and a smaller long-term increase in trend (+ 0.4%, P = .0273) after the SEP-1 bundle was implemented. Overall antibiotic use also increased immediately following SEP-1 implementation (+ 1.4%, P = .0293). There was also an unexpected decrease of 7.3% in Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) rates immediately following implementation.When the analyses was limited to sepsis patients, there was a significant increase in the use of all antibiotic categories at the time of SEP-1 implementation.The authors of the study say the findings are noteworthy because correctly diagnosing sepsis is challenging, and there are concerns that the aggressive timelines for antibiotic therapy in SEP-1 may result in overdiagnosis and inappropriate use of broad-spectrum agents, which could promote development of antibiotic resistance.”These data suggest that antimicrobial stewardship programs should apply postprescription audit and feedback strategies among sepsis patients to ensure that antibiotic de-escalation is occurring appropriately,” the authors wrote. “Further investigations regarding higher use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and impact on CDI and antibiotic resistance development are warranted.”Aug 22 Clin Infect Dis abstract Antibiotic resistance likely not a major driver of gonorrhea spread in NYCIn a study yesterday in the same journal, an analysis of gonococcal isolates collected in New York City in 2012 and 2013 showed that all large transmission clusters were susceptible to current gonorrhea therapies.In their analysis of genome sequences, antibiotic susceptibility, and patient data from 897 gonococcal isolates cultured by the New York City Public Health Laboratory from January 2012 through June 2014—a convenience sample that represents 1.5% of total gonorrhea infections in New York City during the period—the researchers found that the New York City gonococcal phylogeny reflected global diversity, with isolates from 22 of the 23 global Neisseria gonorrhea lineages.They also observed that the isolates clustered on the phylogeny by sexual behavior (P < 0.001), with one lineage significantly associated with isolates from men who have sex with men (MSM) and another associated with isolates from heterosexuals. They also clustered based on race and ethnicity (P < 0.001).Analysis of antibiotic susceptibility showed that 24.3% of isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, 0.9% had reduced susceptibility to azithromycin, and 0.3% had reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxione. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were higher across antibiotics in isolates from MSM compared with heterosexuals (P < 0.001) and white heterosexuals compared with black heterosexuals (P < 0.01). The largest transmission clusters were all susceptible to azithromycin, ceftriaxone, and ciprofloxacin and included isolates from across patient demographic groups.The authors of the study say the findings indicate that antibiotic resistance was not a major driver of gonorrhea transmission in New York City during the study period, but note that, nationally, reduced susceptibility to azithromycin has increased from 0.6% in 2013 to 4.6% in 2018—after the study period."While resistance remains a major public health concern, strategies to reduce overall gonorrhea transmission are also needed as pre-existing transmission networks may present opportunities for rapid spread of resistant lineages," they wrote. "Greater understanding of the transmission dynamics of both susceptible and resistant infections can aid the design of effective intervention strategies for controlling gonorrhea, and further investment in sexual health services and interventions are critical."Aug 23 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

LAPS: Safe Space Initiative Community Event July 29

first_imgGLSEN Albuquerque Chair Havens Levitt She started the first Albuquerque Public School lesbian/gay student support group and is a founding member of GLSEN Albuquerque. For the last six years, the Albuquerque chapter has worked with school districts to improve policies and provide training to educators that will create a more supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students. Havens Levitt, GLSEN Albuquerque Chair, Nationally Certified GLSEN trainer and retired high school teacher, will lead the presentation. Havens began teaching in 1982 and advocated for LGBTQ+ students during her entire career. The event is 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, July 29 in Room 631 of Building 6 on the UNM-Los Alamos camous at 4000 University Dr. They will serve as a neutral point of contact and be able to provide information, resources and support in a safe space as needed. In order to increase support for all students and especially LGBTQ+ students, families and staff, the LAPS Healthy Schools Initiative is working with GLSEN to start a Safe Space Initiative in the Los Alamos Public Schools. Staff from every LAPS school site have volunteered to be trained as Safe Space Resource People. GLSEN, which stands for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization working to create safe schools for ALL students. center_img LAPS News: The National School Climate Survey and the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey demonstrate that LGBTQ youth are at higher risk for being the targets of bullying and for struggling with suicidal ideation and problematic substance use. These surveys have consistently indicated that specific school-based supports are related to a safer and more inclusive school climate. Los Alamos Public Schools’ Healthy Schools Initiative is hosting a community event to learn more about GLSEN’s Safe Space Initiative. GLSEN strives to ensure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Parking for Building 6 is located to the west or back of campus. For further information, contact Healthy Schools Initiative Director Kristine Coblentz at k.coblentz@laschools.net.last_img read more

Catch Of The Week: Small Business Cyber Updates

first_imgWhat can you do? Cisco fixed this issue in firmware release 4.2.3.10; if you are using the affected router models (RV320 and RV325 Dual Gigabit WAN VPN) you will need to update the firmware as there is no workaround. If you don’t need the remote management feature on these routers, you can also disable it. Cisco stated that this was an oversight by their developers, and the certificates and keys were never intended to be shipped with the products. The certificates were used for testing purposes during the development of the firmware and were not intended for live functionality. By BECKY RUTHERFORDLos Alamos Issues included hardcoded password hashes and static X.509 certificates with corresponding public/private key pairs and one static Secure Shell (SSH) host key. Security researchers at SEC Consult/IoT Inspector found numerous security issues for the Cisco RV320 and RV325 Dual Gigabit WAN VPN router series. CISA Releases Cyber Essentials for Small Businesses/Government Agencies Cisco Small Business Router Vulnerabilities Check out Cyber Essentials here: https://www.cisa.gov/cyber-essentials Editor’s note: Becky Rutherford works in information technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Cisco disclosed several other high-severity flaws affecting other small-business routers. More information can be found on their security advisory page:https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20191106-sbrv-cmd-x Why is this bad? According to Cisco, “An attacker with access to the base operating system on an affected device could exploit this issue to obtain root-level privileges. However, Cisco is not currently aware of a way to access the base operating system on these routers,” Cyber Essentials includes five different elements: YourselfYour StaffYour SystemsYour SurroundingsYour Data Each section offers guidance for leaders as well as actionable items that you can take to help protect your small business or government agency. The guidance is consistent with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and other standards. The US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) released guidance on Cyber Essentials for small businesses this week. This guidance is meant to serve as a starting point for small businesses and other government agencies to better understand and learn to remediate cybersecurity risks. This resource offers actionable, basic steps, and resources that can be used to improve cybersecurity posture. The flaw was assigned the tracking identifier of CVE-2019-15271, and could allow a remote attacker who has authenticated to the system to execute malicious commands with root (admin) privileges. A hacked or compromised router could cause a lot of damage, not just on the router, but to every device running on your network. CISA details actions that organizations/governments can take even before they adopt the Cyber Essentials:Backup Data: Employ a backup solution that automatically and continuously backs up critical data and system configurations.Multi-Factor Authentication: Require multi-factor authentication (MFA) for accessing your systems whenever possible. MFA should be required of all users, but start with privileged, administrative, and remote access users.Patch and Update Management: Enable automatic updates whenever possible. Replace unsupported operating systems, applications, and hardware. Test and deploy patches quickly. last_img read more

MORNING AFTER: Standard Life’s celeb-packed POP STORES launch

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Televise Supreme and Appeal Court hearings, says Neuberger

first_imgSome court hearings should be televised to increase public confidence in the justice system, the master of the rolls said this week. Giving the Judicial Studies Board annual lecture, Lord Neuberger suggested Supreme Court hearings and some Court of Appeal hearings should be televised on an equivalent of the Parliament Channel, or via BBC iPlayer. He noted that Brazil’s Federal Supreme Tribunal has its own TV channel, TV Justica, which shows recordings of its sessions and educational programmes about the justice system. Neuberger said that any such plan would have to be looked at carefully, and if it were to go ahead, the judge or judges in the case concerned would have to have full rights of veto over what would be broadcast. He said: ‘If we wish to increase public confidence in the justice system, transparency and engagement, there is undoubtedly something to be said for televising some hearings, provided that there were proper safeguards to ensure that this increased access did not undermine the proper administration of justice.’ Neuberger said that while the justice system may need to adapt to ensure it remains truly open to the public, it was not the function of the courts or the judges to adjust their procedures or working practices ‘with a view to stimulating public interest’ or to ‘curry favour’ with the public. Neuberger also welcomed the lord chief justice’s interim guidance on tweeting in courts, published in February. ‘Why force a journalist or a member of the public to rush out of court in order to telephone or text the contents of his notes written in court, when he can tweet as unobtrusively as he can write?’ he said. He added: ‘It seems to me, in principle, that tweeting is an excellent way to inform and engage interested members of the public, as well as the legal profession.’ The head of the civil courts was speaking on the importance of open justice and the role it played in supporting the rule of law. ‘Public scrutiny of the courts is an essential means by which we ensure that judges do justice according to the law, and thereby secure public confidence in the courts and the law,’ he said. He added that for justice to be seen to be done, judgments must be understandable, not just to lawyers, but, ‘in an age when it seems more likely that citizens will have to represent themselves’, to non-lawyers as well. Neuberger said politicians also had a role to play by ensuring new legislation was drafted clearly, avoiding the ‘inexorable volume, tedious length and the inept drafting’ of many acts that have found their way onto the statute book in recent years.last_img read more

Penman joins Malin React

first_imgPenman has over 25 years of experience in engineering, subsea installation, construction and project management, having held various roles in the oil and gas industry.Malin React is one of seven subsidiary brands of the Malin Group. It specialises in complete solutions for rapid installation of offshore marine equipment onto vessels, with a focus on the defence, renewables and offshore oil and gas sectors.www.malingroup.comlast_img

GOP says US command manipulated Islamic State intel reports

first_imgGOP says US command manipulated Islamic State intel reports SHARE Published: August 11, 2016 4:45 PM EDT WASHINGTON (AP) – Intelligence assessments approved by senior leaders at U.S. Central Command exaggerated the progress of anti-terrorism efforts they ran against Islamic State militants, a House Republican task force said in an initial report released Thursday.The report detailed what the task force described as “persistent problems” in 2014 and 2015 with the command’s analysis of U.S. efforts to train Iraqi forces and combat the extremist group in Iraq and Syria. Central Command, based in Tampa, Florida, runs the U.S. military operations in the Middle East.The task force’s investigation isn’t yet complete. A separate investigation by the Pentagon inspector general also is underway.A Central Command spokesman said the command is reviewing the House report but declined to comment further because the task force and inspector general inquiries are still proceeding.The task force focused on the command’s intelligence directorate. The office underwent structural and management changes in mid-2014 that resulted in intelligence that was “consistently more optimistic regarding the conduct of U.S. military action” than the judgments of many senior, career analysts at the command, according to the report.The command’s intelligence on the Islamic State group also was “more optimistic” than that of other U.S. intelligence agencies and what actual events warranted, the task force said. “Additionally, many (Central Command) press releases, public statements and congressional testimonies were also significantly more positive than actual events,” according to the report.House Republican leaders formed the task force after lawmakers learned that an unnamed analyst assigned to the command had filed a formal complaint alleging that intelligence about the Islamic State group had been manipulated.The Republican chairmen of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees and the Appropriations defense subcommittee established the task force.The report said leadership at the command and within its intelligence office “deteriorated significantly” after Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis departed as senior commander in 2013. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin replaced Mattis as the command’s top officer.Roughly a year after Austin took over, several new senior intelligence officials arrived in Tampa to replace holdovers from Mattis’ tenure. Following the fall of Mosul, Iraq, to Islamic State militants in June 2014, the new officials, who are not named in the report, increased their involvement in the review and editing of various intelligence products.The officials “regularly performed line-in/line-out edits and wording changes which were perceived by analysts as more frequent than previous intelligence directorate leadership,” according to the task force.Dissatisfaction with the new way of doing business is reflected in an internal survey of command analysts that described the leadership as toxic, according to the report. Forty percent of the analysts who responded to the survey, which was conducted by the office of the director of national intelligence, said they had experienced an attempt to distort or suppress intelligence in the past year, the report said.Army Gen. Joseph Votel replaced Austin as commander of Central Command in March.The command’s “consistently rosy view” of military success against Islamic State militants in 2014 and 2015 “may well have resulted in putting American troops at risk as policymakers relied on this intelligence when formulating policy and allocating resources for the fight,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a task force leader.Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee conducted their own inquiry into the allegations of intelligence manipulation at Central Command. Rep. Adam Schiff, R-Calif., the committee’s top Democrat, said Thursday that the command created “an overly insular process for producing intelligence assessments” about the Islamic State group and Iraqi security forces.Schiff said that blinkered process stalled the release of intelligence, didn’t sufficiently accommodate dissenting views and undermined the morale of analysts at Central Command.But Schiff said the Democrats found no evidence that intelligence had been politicized. “Nor did we – or the majority – find any evidence that the White House requested to, or in any manner attempted to, have the intelligence analysis conform to any preset or political narrative,” he said. Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.last_img read more