Native Azaleas

first_imgGeorgians are accustomed to evergreen azaleas, but native azaleas are currently growing in popularity. Unlike evergreen azaleas, native azaleas lose their leaves in the fall, grow tall and airy rather than low and dense, and bloom in the spring and summer.University of Georgia plant breeder Carol Robacker has studied azaleas for the past 25 years. She and her research technicians, Allen Byous and Sherrod Baden, have learned a lot about one of the South’s most popular flowers.A scientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Robacker breeds new landscape plants that are genetically adapted to survive and thrive in the heat and drought stress of Georgia’s urban conditions. Robacker works with CAES entomologist Kris Braman to breed native azalea plants that can tolerate azalea lace bugs, a major pest of azaleas.Evergreen azalea flowers come in a wide variety of forms, and the most common is single-petal. Native azaleas typically have tubular flowers with long stamens that extend beyond their petals.“There are more than 17 species of native azaleas. We collected a number of these that grow in the Piedmont (region) and are now evaluating which ones are adapted to Georgia,” said Robacker.The Research and Education Garden on the UGA Griffin campus is filled with row after row of her research plots. In Robacker’s laboratory and greenhouse at UGA-Griffin, Byous and Baden tend the plants and record any insects and diseases that affect them.To help Georgia gardeners successfully grow azaleas, they offer the following tips.“First, when you buy an azalea, turn the pot upside down. Gently remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots. If the roots are light brown and the pot is fairly full of healthy-looking roots, you’re good. If they are black, don’t buy it,” Byous said.When it comes to site selection, pick a spot that gets both sun and shade, Byous said. Azaleas need sunlight to develop flower buds and flowers, but most azalea varieties perform better in the shade, which protects them from extreme heat in summer.“A 50-50 mix of sun and shade makes for a good compromise for most varieties,” he said.Look closely at the soil. Azaleas don’t like wet, boggy areas, and native azaleas especially like well-drained soil, Byous said. Azaleas also like an acidic soil with a pH in the 4.5 to 6.0 range.When you are ready to plant, dig a hole 4 inches larger than the pot. “Break up the root ball, scar the inside of the hole so the roots can spread and place the plant 2 inches higher than soil level so it drains well,” he said.Add pine bark or shredded leaves as mulch to insulate the plant and keep the weeds down.Water the new azalea plant heavily for the first two years and fertilize in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer similar to a 19-5-8 fertilizer blend.Native azaleas typically aren’t pruned, but if you choose to prune, do so after they bloom and before the new buds set the following spring.“You don’t have to prune them, but you may want to if they grow outside the area where you planted them,” said Robacker. “But please don’t try to create a meatball shape. Natives aren’t meant to be shaped like that.”Over her 37-year career at UGA-Griffin, Baden has developed a dark green thumb. Her advice to azalea lovers is simple: Don’t move them once they are established.“If you want an azalea in another area of your yard, take cuttings from your azaleas and root new plants,” she said.To do this, select shoots that are about 6 inches long. Snap the branch to remove a cutting. Place the cutting in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel and label the bag.“Keep the bag out of the sun. Put the bag of cuttings in the refrigerator overnight,” she said.The next day, trim the cuttings from the bottom to create a 4- to 6-inch cutting. Remove all the leaves except the top pair, and trim these by about half to reduce plant stress.“Wound about a half-inch of the lower stem of the cutting by scraping the surface with a sharp knife. Dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone of your choice, liquid or powder,” Baden said. “Stick cuttings in a mix of milled sphagnum moss and coarse perlite mixed 1-1.”Place the cuttings in light shade under an automatic misting system to keep them moist for several weeks.“If you don’t have an automatic system, create a humidity dome out of a plastic shoe box or corsage box. Gradually open the box over a few weeks to decrease the humidity and allow the cuttings to adapt to the drier air,” she said.After several weeks, the cuttings should have roots. Allow the newly rooted cuttings to grow undisturbed their first season. Cuttings must overwinter in a protected, cold environment and go dormant. Newly rooted azalea cuttings should bloom two years after being established.For more in-depth information on selecting and growing azaleas, search UGA Extension publications at read more

Marlboro and Woodbury colleges awarded over $28,000 in grants for joint program

first_imgMARLBORO AND WOODBURY AWARDED OVER $28,000 IN GRANTS TO CONTINUE JOINT PROGRAMOnce again, two Vermont colleges are collaborating to help those who help others by offering a nonprofit management certification course. Starting this month, approximately 48 students will assemble at either Woodbury College in Montpelier or at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro for ten Friday workshops held over the next five months.Each workshop will focus on an aspect of nonprofit operation, including successful fundraising and grant writing, financial and personnel management, conflict resolution, marketing, and strategic planning. The workshops are designed for incumbent workers in the nonprofit field who have either recently moved into a management position or plan to seek a management position in the near future.This fall’s offering will be the second time Woodbury and Marlboro have worked together to strengthen Vermont’s nonprofit sector. According to program coordinator Jessie Lynn, “last spring’s course was a great success and we are thrilled to offer this certificate course again. Our core instructors, all of who are experts in their respective fields, really understand what is important for Vermont’s nonprofit community, so these workshops are truly relevant and practical.”Over $28,000 in grants has been awarded to Woodbury College and Marlboro College to recruit faculty, continue to develop curriculum, and obtain the necessary materials for the program. Granting organizations include the Workforce Education and Training Fund (WETF), which is a division of the Vermont Department of Labor, an anonymous donor and the TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation, which recently launched a new program to provide funds for nonprofit employee education and professional development. The grants have allowed the schools to cap tuition costs for in-state students at just $750.There are still spaces available. Interested applicants can call Jessie Lynn at (802) 229-0516 ext. 245 or email her at sends e-mail). A complete schedule of workshops, course descriptions and faculty information can be found online at is external).###last_img read more

Go digital or go home: The rise of digital banking at Wildfire Credit Union

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Robert McGarvey A blogger and speaker, Robert McGarvey is a longtime journalist who has covered credit unions extensively, notably for Credit Union Times as well as the New York Times and TheStreet, … Web: Details “What could we do to make our members’ lives better?” That question, said Mark Shuiling, vice president of technology at $900 million Wildfire Credit Union in Saginaw, MI, is what set the institution on a quest to bring its members a unified, omnichannel banking experience. The quest began maybe five years ago.It is now coming to fruition, with help from digital platform developer Backbase.Here is the story of an institution that decided that digital was its future – if only because it is what the Millennials and Gen Z members of any credit union crave.  These are people who grew up with personal computers at their sides and the younger ones cannot remember a time when they did not have an iPhone or Android phone in their hands.When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the wisdom of Wildfire’s decision became all the sharper, said Schuiling – it was suddenly obvious that digital is the future for all of us, simple as that. Understand, Wildfire is just now beginning to roll out its new unified banking platform and it will do it deliberately, carefully, said Schuiling.Know too that Wildfire is way ahead of most credit unions in its digital journey. Sure, just about every credit union executive pays lipservice to the idea of digital banking, but the stark reality is that few have climbed aboard this movement. That’s why Vince Bezemer, head of strategy for Backbase, which also has worked with Navy Federal, Schools First, and State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, estimates that maybe 10% of financial institutions really get what it means to be digital.And 90% don’t.Which side are you on?Being digital does not mean having mobile and online banking, said Bezemer.  Of course they are essential building blocks. But being digital is about the institution’s soul and most today remain resolutely analog.Those with an eye on tomorrow are the ones that are embracing a truly digital tomorrow.A key goal for Wildfire: it wanted to provide members online and mobile experiences that are unique, that are specifically created to serve Wildfire members, and that are not just off the shelf cookie-cutter apps in use at literally hundreds of institutions.Wildfire wanted uniqueness but it also wanted the ability to customize to specifically serve its members – and just about every credit union has a gripe about not being able to modify an off the shelf app with a feature it wanted.  Go with a unified digital banking solution designed to fit your institution’s needs and personalization is yours.Two big worries stop many credit unions from even attempting to go the custom route.Worry 1: we are not big enough.Maybe that was true five or ten years ago – then truly custom solutions were available only to the biggest institutions.  No more however. Backbase, for instance, says it works with a range of smaller institutions through third-party vendors.  Other developers say similar. Huge size no longer is a prerequisite for offering a custom digital solution.Worry 2:  you fear your institution lacks the inhouse technical chops to deliver on an omnichannel promise? Schuiling, with three inhouse programmers, shared that fear so Wildfire hunted for a technology partner that could fill in the gaps. It went through lots of candidates before making a choice. Backbase is an example of a vendor that can do it all for clients that want that. But it also works with credit unions that want their own programmers to do significant work on the digital transformation project.  Other vendors say similar.  Nowadays, you can have omnichannel banking your way.Know that even with a good digital partner, this journey remains lengthy for the credit unions that undertake it.  Why?  Executives, board members, line staff, members have to be brought along, carefully.  That is what Wildfire did and it proceeded with a patience that is remarkable.But about now it is all paying off. Feature by feature, Wildfire is beginning a rollout of its new digital self to its members.  Doing it all at once would overwhelm many. Bring them along step by step and they will get excited by their new customer journey.That’s Wildfire’s bet. It’s a smart bet. And it’s one just about every credit union should be making.Want to hear what Schuiling and Bezemer say in their own words? You want to hear the dual CU2.0 Podcasts on the Omnichannel Journey. Bezemer is #110, Schuiling #111. Click the links for the audio.  Each runs around a half-hour.  What they say is thoughtful, realistic, and you will get a roadmap for the digital journey ahead.last_img read more

Department stars

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Two Australian schools close as coronavirus cases jump

first_img“This is likely to be the new norm,” said Brad Hazzard the minister of health for New South Wales state.The school closures come days after another high school in Sydney shut down when a 16-year-old there tested positive.Epping Boys High School reopened on Monday though nearly 70 students and staff who had close contact with the infected student remained in self-isolation.The coronavirus has infected 107,000 people around the world in an ever-growing list of countries and caused hefty economic damage, prompting central banks to ease monetary policies. Two schools in the Australian city of Sydney closed on Monday after three students tested positive for the coronavirus, taking Australia’s tally of cases to more than 80 as the government prepares a fiscal stimulus to ward off recession.Australia has seen a worrying increase in coronavirus cases in the past couple of days, though Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the majority were travellers who caught the virus abroad, with only one instance of community transmission.Two year-10 students at Sydney’s St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas had tested positive for the virus while a year-7 pupil tested positive at the Willoughby Girls High School. Three people have died in Australia.”This is a public health emergency of an unprecedented nature that our nation and that the entire global community is facing,” the health minister of Victoria state, Jenny Mikakos, told a televised briefing.Her state also recorded a jump in the number of cases after two people who recently arrived from the United States and one who returned from Iran were diagnosed as infected with the virus.”We do anticipate that this likely pandemic will have significant impacts on our health system. This has been my absolute focus, making sure that our system is prepared to respond,” Mikakos said.Worries about the hit to the economy saw nearly A$108 billion ($70.5 billion) wiped off Australian shares in yet another day of panic selling in global financial markets.Fiscal re-think? The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last week became the first in the developed world to ease monetary policy to fight the economic fallout.The government is finalising a fiscal stimulus package though the size of the measure is not known.An announcement on the likely A$10 billion package is expected this week, media reported.Economists are less optimistic about the scale of the stimulus.Citi economist Josh Williamson expects an initial package of A$3 billion to A$5 billion, or about 0.1% of Australia’s gross domestic product.”Such a package would be designed to offset the expected loss of output, rather than deliver a material boost to activity that closes the negative output gap that existed prior to COVID-19,” he added, referring to the illness caused by the virus.”If the broader economy is impacted more severely than currently assumed, then the government could be forced to rethink its fiscal strategy in May, that is, abandon hopes of a near-term budget surplus and bring forward other stimulatory measures.”Topics :last_img read more

Facebook labels state-controlled media posts, will block ads

first_imgFacebook said it consulted “more than 65 experts around the world specializing in media, governance, and human rights and development” to establish its policy on state media.The move comes with Facebook under scrutiny for failing for stem foreign interference in the 2016 US election, and amid heated debate over how the social network handles misinformation and inflammatory posts, including from US President Donald Trump.Facebook is also in the process of setting up a “supreme court” or oversight board to make binding determinations on content removal. Facebook later this year will begin adding similar labels to ads by such news outlets, blocking them entirely ahead of the US presidential election in November “to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate,” according to Gleicher.Facebook’s definition of state-controlled media includes influence over editorial content as well as financial backing of outlets, he explained.Labels will appear globally in Facebook’s advertising library and on pages. In the US, labels will also appear on posts in News Feeds at the leading social network, according to Gleicher.”If we determine that there are enough protections in place to ensure editorial independence, we will not apply the label,” Gleicher said. Facebook on Thursday began labeling media organizations whose editorial calls may be under the influence of governments and said ads from those outlets would be blocked later this year.The social network is following through on a previously announced plan to label state-controlled news publishers, according to Facebook head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher.”We believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government,” Gleicher said in a blog post.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Remarks by Governor Wolf at Overdose Reversal Milestone Recognition

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Remarks,  Substance Use Disorder,  Videos Pennsylvania Police Overdose Reversal Milestone RecognitionHarrisburg, PA Remarks by Governor Wolf at Overdose Reversal Milestone Recognition Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: June 14, 2016last_img

​NBIM calls for harmonised EU supply chain due diligence approach

first_imgNorway’s oil fund is calling on the European Commission to harmonise the approach to supply chain due diligence in Europe as part of a planned renewed sustainable finance strategy.In its response to the Commission’s consultation on the strategy, which ends next week, the manager of Norway’s NOK10.3trn (€963bn) sovereign wealth fund said: “It would be helpful to have a European harmonised approach to supply chain due diligence, that would implement international standards in a consistent manner, thereby ensuring a level-playing field for companies operating in the Single Market.”In its letter, NBIM’s chief corporate governance officer Carine Smith Ihenacho and Séverine Neervoort, senior analyst, corporate governance wrote that the subsidiary of the Norwegian central bank had an inherent interest in how companies managed their use of natural and social resources and addressed supply chain risks.This could have a bearing on their ability to create financial value, the pair said. Firms should understand the broader consequences of their operations on society and the environment, they said.“They should have an adequate supply chain management system in place, including policies and measures for detecting, preventing and responding to environmental and human right risks in their supply chain,” Smith Ihenacho and Neervoort wrote.NBIM also made suggestions about EU harmonisation in two other areas — corporate sustainability reporting and the shareholder voting process.On corporate sustainability reporting, it said investors required more information from companies about their risk exposure and management, in order to better integrate environmental and social risks into financial decision-making.In their final point, concerning shareholder voting, the NBIM pair also reiterated concerns expressed in other consultations, telling the Commission investors needed to be able to vote at company meetings in all markets, but that Norges Bank had encountered obstacles in the past due to manual processes, a lack of standardisation and diverging rules.“We would thus welcome further harmonisation of rules, for instance regarding the cut-off date, the timing between the receipt of the meeting’s materials and the deadline to cast votes, as well as the introduction of automatic vote confirmation (not solely on request),” they wrote.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Shelbyville man airlifted following Brookville Lake incident

first_imgBrookville, In. — Indiana Conservation Department officers rescued a Shelbyville man from Brookville Lake after being submerged for about 15 minutes Monday.Emergency workers responded around 2:38 p.m. and found other swimmers recovered the body of Fernando Julian, 21, and pulled him to shore.Julian was treated at the scene by EMS and airlifted to University of Cincinnati Hospital. His condition is not available.The incident remains under investigation.last_img

WTT signs strategic partnership with IMG

first_imgWorld Table Tennis (WTT) is delighted to announce it has entered into a broad, long-term strategic partnership with IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media. The extensive alliance, which commences in January 2021, includes global media rights development and distribution, production oversight of WTT events, betting data and streaming rights for IMG Arena, non-exclusive sponsorship representation, as well as the general mandate to grow the sport of table tennis globally. The events covered by the deal will include the World Table Tennis Championships and all tiers of the revamped WTT event structure: Grand Smashes, WTT Cup Finals, WTT Champions Series and WTT Contenders Series. In January 2021, WTT will launch its new WTT Series, a totally revamped competition which will radically change the sport and its perception. Supporting the WTT Series, an innovative commercial strategy will be implemented, controlling content production and enabling digital engagement with fans around the world as well as factoring in best practices and latest consumer trends.Advertisement Loading… Liu Guoliang, WTT Council Chair, stated: “We are very excited to have IMG on board this historic journey to help us professionalize and commercialize table tennis throughout the world, and I look forward to our joint efforts to develop the global game to greater new heights.” Steve Dainton, ITTF CEO and WTT Director, declared: “The World Table Tennis era will revolutionize the sport forever and we are delighted to be welcoming on board an industry powerhouse in IMG, whose wealth of expertise will help us to make this historic transformation for table tennis. This is fantastic news for the sport, the players, the fans, the host cities, the commercial partners and everyone who will be joining us on this exciting journey.” Adam Kelly, Co-President of Media & Events at IMG, also underlined the bright future that lies in wait for table tennis: “This is an exciting partnership at a key stage in the commercial redefinition of table tennis, through WTT, around the world. We share the vision that the ITTF and WTT have for the sport over the coming years and believe our energy, creativity and expertise on a global scale will add true value across all aspects of the WTT business.”read also:Video: Recuperating Abia Governor, Ikpeazu, engages Dr. Achilihu in a table tennis exerciseHe added: “In addition, we are already looking at opportunities to involve other parts of the wider Endeavor network, to further enhance the commercial value and consumer offering for table tennis. We look forward to continuing to build upon this strategic relationship, by adding more services that help to reinvent the sport.” The innovative partnership is structured in a way that allows both partners to work openly and collaboratively to develop all the commercial rights of WTT and to ensure the global growth of table tennis. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest PocketBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemSuperhero Castings That People Hated But Were Amazing8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtGorgeous Asian Actresses All Men Are Crazy AboutA Lot More People Should See Hanna’s Fantastic Bread MasterpiecesCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Bodylast_img read more