Helping Families

first_imgPartners like Georgia DFCS will help connect eligible parents and families with project leaders.“The project should provide needed knowledge and skills to help our families bridge the gap to sustainability in healthy relationships and economic habits,” said Mary Havick, Region 5 director for Georgia DFCS. “I feel confident that the model Dr. Futris and his team have proposed will be successful, and I believe in its potential for future statewide replication.” The 13 counties involved are Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Rockdale and Walton counties; collectively they are Georgia DFCS Region 5. The counties will be divided into three clusters based on the number of families receiving home visitation and DFCS services, with one project coordinator and four program facilitators assigned to each cluster.The needs of the region’s highest-risk children will be addressed and services will be provided for new parents, foster parents and reunified families, or biological parents of children 18 and under who were removed from their home and have been reunited. Georgia ranked 42nd in the U.S. in 2014 across various child well-being indicators, according to Kids Count data. Children in rural counties are particularly at risk, Futris noted, due to patterns of income inequality and social stratification. The first step of the project—hiring facilitators and conducting training—will begin immediately and the project will officially launch and begin delivering programs as early as this spring, Futris said. Students from both UGA FCS and the School of Social Work will provide services such as child care, youth engagement and tax preparation. They will also conduct in-home visits and collect needs assessment data. Up to 30 part-time program facilitators and field assessors will also be hired. UGA Extension county agents will also help with the project.“We’ll be working with families that are experiencing a lot of stress on a daily basis,” Futris said. “We want to see as a result of participating in this program that they are able to effectively manage the stress and that they are experiencing less stress over time, and we want to see stability in their relationships.” A team of University of Georgia faculty has received an $8.2 million grant for a project aimed at improving the lives of nearly 1,500 families in a 13-county, mostly rural, region in northeast Georgia.The grant came from the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and will be administered by the Office of Family Assistance. Ted Futris, an associate professor in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and a UGA Cooperative Extension family life specialist, will direct the five-year project.The program will focus on creating positive and stable homes through education designed to improve healthy marriage and relationship skills and promote economic stability. The Elevate curriculum, a couples education program developed by researchers at UGA and Auburn University, will be taught along with a three-week financial literacy education program that focuses on managing finances and building wealth.Numerous state and local partners are involved in the project including the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Georgia Family Connection, Great Start Georgia, Strengthening Families Georgia and Project Safe. “It’s a huge initiative, and I’m 100 percent confident in our capacity to do it,” he said. “All of our partners are excited, and I think that’s a testament to this team’s commitment.”last_img read more

S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):With oil and gas drillers filing for bankruptcy at a rising clip in 2019, credit rating agencies say the number of companies in distress is marching higher and they are bracing for more credit downgrades and Chapter 11 filings this fall.Exploration and production companies, or E&Ps, are producing more oil and gas in North America than ever before and that production is causing credit worries — the increased demand from Mexico and LNG isn’t enough to sop up gobs of hydrocarbons finding their way to market.Investors as well as lenders appear worried about the sector, according to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. oil and gas analyst Neal Dingmann. Investors peppered companies with refinancing questions during presentations at The Oil and Gas Conference by EnerCom Inc. in Denver, Dingmann told his clients Aug. 14. “Investors not only questioned what [was the] potential cost of capital … but whether the market was even open to such transactions.”Chapter 11 filings this month by Halcón Resources Corp. and Sanchez Energy Corp. helped drive the number of oil and gas E&P bankruptcy filings to 26 so far in 2019, outpacing the 21 seen in all of 2018, law firm Haynes and Boone LLP said their mid-August Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor.For several of these producers, such as Halcón, the filings follow a previous trip through Chapter 11 during the 2015-2016 oil and gas downturn and marks a capitulation, the firm said. Many firms reorganized three years ago only to discover there were no potential buyers, Buddy Clark, co-chair of Haynes and Boone’s energy practice said. “They’ve been limping along,” Clark said. “The public markets have just shut down and there are no obvious exits. For these producers the game clock has run out of time to keep playing ‘kick the can’ with their creditors and other stakeholders,” the Haynes and Boone’s presentation said.S&P Global Ratings noted in early August that the number of speculative-grade companies’ borrowing at rates 10% or more above what Treasury bills pay continues to grow, indicating that riskier borrowers are paying more for money. According to S&P Global Ratings, 18.4% of less-than-investment grade borrowers are paying 10% or more for loans, while the average spread among speculative oil and gas borrowers has widened to 3.49% above the risk-free T-bill rate, from 2.31% in July 2018. Some borrowers may not be able to find a lender this fall, S&P warned. “A number of issuers with distressed issues will face refinancing risks in the short term if financing conditions do not improve, including Unit Corp., Denbury Resources Inc., California Resources Corp. and Pioneer Energy Services Corp.,” Ratings said in its note.More ($): As oil and gas bankruptcies rise, S&P warns of coming shale producer downgrades S&P: Economic pressure mounting for U.S. exploration and production companieslast_img read more

LIRR Adds Trains for Thanksgiving Weekend

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Rail Road is adding trains to the schedule through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to accommodate those leaving work early Wednesday, parade attendees Thursday and shoppers Saturday and Sunday.Nine extra eastbound trains will leave Penn Station between 2:08 p.m. and 4:06 p.m. to handle to early rush hour on Thanksgiving Eve on the Babylon, Port Jefferson, Port Washington Far Rockaway and Montauk lines.Alcohol will also be banned on LIRR trains, stations or platforms 8 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday. But train station waiting rooms will remain open overnight through Friday to accommodate riders waiting for trains during the storm.Seventeen trains will be added on Thanksgiving—six westbound from 6:01 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. and 11 eastbound trains from 11:35 a.m. to 1:32 p.m., some with added cars—for those attending the Thanksgiving Day Parade or visiting families.Trains will run on a holiday schedule Thursday and off-peak fares will be in effect Thursday through Sunday. A regular weekday schedule will be in effect on Black Friday.Thanksgiving weekend additionally marks the start of extra weekend trains to and from Manhattan—four westbound and six eastbound—to meet the extra holiday season ridership every Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 5.For more information, call the LIRR at 511 or visit its website at www.mta.info.last_img read more

The making of Greater Texas’ Apple Watch banking app with Malauzai’s Robb Gaynor

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Last month we had Greater Texas Federal Credit Union on the show discussing the launch of its new Apple Watch banking app for those members who wanted to manage their finances from their wrist. In this episode, we have the makers of Greater Texas’ Apple Watch banking app Malauzai Software on the show to discuss what it took to create this app before the Apple Watch was even released. A very cool behind the scenes anecdote with Malauzai’s Robb Gaynor, which involved a trip to the Apple campus in Cupertino, CA, for tours and app testing. continue reading »last_img

Five cost effective ways to take compliance seriously

first_imgRegulatory reform is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one really does anything about it. So, even as you rail against the CFPB remember that, unless you think Tinker Bell is going to be elected President, this new hyper-regulatory environment is here to stay. Those credit unions that most successfully integrate compliance into their business structure as opposed to treating it as a costly appendage will be the ones for whom compliance might actually be a source of savings. After all, members are more likely to trust an institution that knows what they are doing and why they are doing it.To be sure, larger credit unions a have a huge advantage when it comes to absorbing compliance costs. I feel your pain, but let’s get over it. There are cost effective steps that even the smallest credit unions can take to improve their compliance with all those nettlesome laws and regulations with minimal impact on their bottom line. I’ve chosen some examples that all credit unions should implement to cost effectively improve their compliance programs.Customize Your Procedures. Just about every aspect of an institution’s consumer banking practices – whether that institution is JP Morgan Chase or a five person CU – can be reduced to procedures that can be applied over and over and over again. For example, as challenging as the new integrated disclosure requirements are, once you figure out how to comply, a well written step-by-step procedure can enable any employee you hire now or in the future to implement TRID in a way that makes the most sense for your credit union. In addition, as regulations change, you can simply tweak the procedures. Procedures codify institutional memory so that not everyone has to be a compliance expert. The only cost is the time and effort it takes to write down the procedures. Considering how much time your credit union has spent complying with the TRID mandate, this is an investment that makes sense.Prioritize Vendor Management. CU CEOs are unabashedly frugal and they should be. A penny saved truly is a penny earned. One of the best ways to save money while improving your compliance is to take vendor management more seriously.(A) Mandate that employees get quotes from multiple vendors regardless of the services for which they are shopping. Credit unions always say they don’t have leverage when negotiating contracts. This will always be true for those institutions that don’t start negotiating contract terms until after they have chosen a vendor.(B) Make employees responsible for periodically checking in on each vendor with whom you contract. With so many regulations being implemented by vendors you must oversee vendor performance if you are going to oversee your CU’s compliance efforts. Many vendors are computer people who specialize in compliance software not compliance people who know software. Someone in your credit union needs to know a regulation well enough that you can double check your vendors.(C) Make sure you know when contracts end. Many contracts have automatic renewal provisions and if your credit union gets sloppy, you will miss a golden opportunity to review the price and performance of your vendors.Pool compliance services. Every credit union, no matter how small, needs a dedicated compliance professional but not everyone can afford one: I get it. The solution is for credit unions to pool resources. For example, New York has joined a growing number of leagues that hire a field level compliance specialist who works with a group of credit unions to provide ongoing compliance on issues unique to those credit unions. They could even draft a couple of those procedures I was talking about.Don’t Do a Volkswagen – Make compliance everyone’s responsibility. The Executive team comes up with a great idea for a new financial product. The Marketing department comes up with a great campaign and the compliance officer is asked to review it for “compliance issues” the day before it is scheduled to be launched. I exaggerate only slightly. Financial institutions of all shapes and sizes have for too long let a culture fester in which compliance is viewed as an enemy to be conquered rather than a partner with whom to work to achieve greater efficacy. It’s time for a reality check: Any person responsible for any part of your credit union’s operations that is impacted by compliance. Given this reality, every single employee and department should have to work with, and not against their compliance person. For example, compliance should have a role in the development of every credit union project and initiative at the earliest stages of the process. Common sense tells you that a system that integrates compliance into a product’s design is more efficient than one that ignores it until the very end of the process. Just ask our good friends at Volkswagen.Love ‘em or hate ‘em you still need a lawyer. . . Sometimes. A good compliance program not only has to be well conceived and consistently implemented but it needs to know where the gray areas are and how to exploit them for the good of the credit union. This is where a lawyer, albeit a lawyer who knows something about consumer banking, comes in. Not every threatened lawsuit should be settled and the plain language of statutes and regulations should be the beginning, not the end, of legal analysis when it comes to the most important legal and compliance issues facing your credit union. Consequently, there are times when the extra cost of an attorney is worth it. My rule of thumb is that the more you are dealing with an issue for which there is not a settled Yes or No answer, or that could expose your credit union to litigation, the more you should consider calling your counsel.Each one of these steps will not only improve your compliance, but will save your credit union money. My point is this; compliance doesn’t have to cost your credit union as much money as you think it does. A well thought out system of checks and balances will lead to better functioning institutions that better present themselves to the public and comply with regulatory demands in the most cost effective manner. 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: www.nycua.org Detailslast_img read more

Athletes could be particularly vulnerable to serious COVID-19 symptoms, says union

first_img“The virus may get deep into the lungs, it is a virus that can cause severe damage not only to the lungs but other organs and athletes need to be at a very high level of health and fitness in order to be able to preserve their careers.”Schwab said that while players were willing to take a calculated risk to resume their sporting careers, since social distancing rules cannot be adhered to in most sports, it would not be at any cost.”We are concerned that some sports bodies are trying to place the economic and legal risk of contracting the disease on to players and that is something which we think should not be tolerated,” he said.Schwab said that if players signed away their rights, they could be denied “the basic economic and legal protection which should go along with being injured or otherwise ill in the ordinary course of work.” He added that, by taking part in contact sports, the “players themselves are being asked to do something which is inherently risky and inherently contrary to all of the health information that is being given.””Player health and safety should be not be something which is negotiable because of the economic pressure sport is under at the moment,” he added.Schwab said the widespread testing was a key to ensuring elite sport could take place but athletes did not want it to be carried out at the expense of the general public.”The players are making it very clear that they don’t want to have a high level of testing if that is going to place the public health effort in jeopardy,” he said.Sports competitions which restart early, such as Germany’s Bundesliga, had a special responsibility.“We believe that those sports who want to try and go first, they do try and set the very best practices,” he said.”We were very impressed by the comments of Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who was saying that, yes this is a leadership example, we as players have to step up to the mark. And, when it comes to health and safety, the leagues and the governing bodies need to do the same.” Professional athletes could be particularly vulnerable to falling seriously ill with the new coronavirus, the head of a global union representing them told Reuters on Thursday.Brendan Schwab, the executive director of the World Players’ Association, added that some players were being asked to sign away rights that would normally give them legal and financial protection should they fall ill.”We have seen some research that athletes may be particularly vulnerable to serious symptoms,” said Schwab, whose union represents around 85,000 athletes, including many who play in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, rugby, European soccer and Australian Rules football.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia puts $33 billion move of capital city on hold to tackle pandemic

first_imgWidodo unveiled the project last year to reduce the burden on Jakarta, a teeming city of 10 million on Java island that suffers traffic gridlock, regular floods and is sinking because of the over extraction of ground water.SoftBank’s chief executive Masayoshi Son, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan have been enlisted as advisers for the project.As authorities struggle to reopen Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, their energies have increasingly been consumed in battling the spiraling epidemic, which has caused more than 6,200 deaths, the region’s highest tally.Normally, such a big project should bring considerable positive ripple effects for the economy, but disbursing the government’s coronavirus stimulus response appeared more urgent now, said Wellian Wiranto, an economist at OCBC Bank.Nor could Indonesia now afford to move its capital, as the pandemic’s strain on the national budget leads to a ballooning fiscal deficit, another economist said.The downturn could last longer than the government anticipates, running until the second half of 2021, said Enny Sri Hartati of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance.”Anyone who talks about the new capital city project during the pandemic has lost their senses,” she added. “When the situation improves, only then will we decide what we will do” with the capital relocation, he added.Making a frank admission of the obstacles to the project, he said groundbreaking could be delayed until 2022 or 2023, as the government focuses efforts on finding, and then distributing, a COVID-19 vaccine to the population of nearly 270 million.Construction of a state palace and other buildings was initially set to start by 2021, along with upgrades of airports, sea ports and the building of access roads in the forested area earmarked for transformation into a new smart city.Civil servants were due to start moving by 2024, which should mark the final year of Widodo’s second term in office. Indonesia has put on the backburner President Joko Widodo’s ambitious $33-billion project to relocate the capital city to the island of Borneo as it grapples to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, the planning minister said.Planned construction of government buildings for the new city will be shelved until Indonesia sees “the light at the end of the tunnel” on the outbreak, said Suharso Monoarfa, who is overseeing a masterplan for the new city.”We’re putting as our number one priority the recovery of the economy and overcoming the pandemic,” Monoarfa told Reuters in a streamed interview on Tuesday.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Subcon Supports TurkStream Pipeline Project

first_imgSubcon has completed multiple pipeline supports using its engineered solution.Support for the 32-inch TurkStream pipeline was required where the seabed transitioned from the continental shelf to deep water.Multiple grouted supports were installed at this location to reduce pipeline stresses during MEG swabbing. Complexity in the design was caused by 30° axial and 22° transverse cliff faces with rocky features, Subcon explained.A collaboration was formed with Subcon, IntecSea and Allseas to engineer a solution. Engineering was completed in The Netherlands and Australia, fabrication in Australia and Europe, with execution in the Russian Black Sea.Key features included a pipe clamping mechanism for temporary stability, bespoke fabric formworks, support frames with an integrated, ROV operated, levelling system and Subcon’s subsea grout connector hotstab technology.Each formwork and frame was tailored to the specific support location’s bathymetry to ensure correct fit to seabed.“Collaboration to form the solution was a key factor in the team’s success,” explained Cameron Stirling, Subcon’s European general manager. “We drew together IntecSea’s analytical expertise, Allseas’ Innovation Division and Subcon’s engineering to deliver an elegant solution to a highly complex challenge.”A fullscale System Integration Test was performed at Subcon’s Western Australian facility. This included an exact replica of the cliff face bathymetry at the steepest support. A 50Te downward vertical load was applied to the pipe joint to demonstrate the strength of the shear connection between the base of the support and the seabed.Allseas project manager, said: “This was one of the most technically complex pipe supports Allseas has encountered. The smooth execution is a credit to all parties involved.”last_img read more

Two Hoosier communities named ‘Safest to Raise Children’

first_imgIndianapolis, Ind. — Two Indiana cities have been mentioned on a list of the “safest to raise a child.” Carmel and Fishers are fourth and sixth respectively on the list compiled by safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-to-raise-a-child/.The list was compiled using state graduation rates, school quality ranking, sex offender concentration and FBI violent crime data. The study also evaluated park and recreation opportunities and special programs for families and older adults.No other Midwestern states had towns that made the list.last_img