2008 in review

first_imgAnother year comes to an end. It’s been a year of ups and downs, like all years that have come before it. Next year will have its ups and downs, too. And Georgia FACES will be there to bring you the news to use about Georgia family, agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences. Watch for a new face for FACES next year. The site and its delivery system are getting a much-need makeover, which will debut in a few months.On behalf of the writers, sources and the many people who bring you Georgia FACES, I wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a prosperous and safe New Year.Sorted by date and linked to the story in the archive, here are 2008’s top 10 stories in 6 categories: AgricultureEconomicsEnvironmentLawn and GardenLivingScience agriculture,economics,environment,lawn and garden,living, and science.last_img read more

Real estate agents have the same goal as credit unions

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sarah Volling Sarah Volling is Marketing Manager at Accenture Mortgage Cadence. Beginning her career with the company over seven years ago, Sarah now oversees the marketing department, strengthening brand identity through thought … Web: www.accenture.com Details Mortgage lending productivity decreased in 2014. With refinance subsiding and purchase loans taking over, credit unions are looking at ways to expand market share in order to see loan officer productivity (number of closed loans per employee) rise. This year we have provided a variety of tools including our Millennial Marketing Guide, ideas on reaching the investor market, and, this month, the results of our Realtor® survey. The real estate community is a fantastic catalyst as well as an essential market whenever purchase-lending dominates the market. They are every credit unions’ secret weapon for increasing market share.Some background. More than 1,099,102 individuals, the ranks of which have swelled by more than 10% since 2012, are now members of the National Association of Realtors® (NARs). While not a direct market for credit unions, Realtors® can — and do — strengthen origination efforts. They are a catalyst, spending more time with homebuyers than any other party, they also have more influence on the entire real estate transaction than anyone else. Nurture relationships with real estate agents, and expect to see a steady supply of new loans rolling in. Sounds simple — most things do — though most things are often harder in practice. For a better understanding of what it takes to create relationships with real estate agents, we conducted a survey early this month. While responses are still coming in, the preliminary results are enlightening. Three themes are consistent in their responses:Theme one – network. How credit unions can establish or expand their Realtor® network is certainly up for debate. One fact, however, remains unwavering. Credit unions must meet agents where they spend most of their time, and Realtors® must meet their potential homebuyers where they spend most of their time. We are in an all-digital age. Mortgages are trending to all-digital, and both Millennials and Baby Boomers are heading to the web daily. With 63% of real estate agents we surveyed using Facebook to connect with homebuyers and many expanding into other online outlets such as LinkedIn and Twitter, this is where credit unions must also be. Connecting with Realtors® at the source is the first way to work with them to ‘catalyze’ originations.Theme two – communicate. Real estate agents have the same goal as credit unions — close the loan, and hand the members the keys. This directly ties into the most profound reoccurring theme we saw in our survey. Across the board, communication ranked highest on why Realtors® would recommend a credit union to a member and encourage them to keep coming back. While not always easy when times are stressful or a loan seems stuck in the origination cycle, the more proactive credit unions are with their members as the loan moves through the process, the better. Real estate agents also acknowledged that in this highly regulated industry, many factors can impact a loan’s ability to close on time. However, they want credit unions to be proactive with their communication as delays or red flags arise. For credit unions, having systems in place that automatically notify members as the loan moves through the process can save time across the board. By proactively sharing both good news and bad news, members and Realtors® alike will feel at-ease.Theme three – create loyalty. Once a credit union establishes their network of Realtors®, it’s important to maintain those relationships to keep agents coming back time and again. It’s worth noting that more than half of the Realtors® we surveyed said they’d recommended no more than one new credit union to their homebuyers in the past six months. Realtors® are loyal. Keep them happy, and they will keep coming back to you. As long as credit unions stay proactive with their communication and treat Realtors® as peers, they will most certainly see their business flourish.While there is no perfect formula for nurturing real estate agents, our survey does provide a glimpse into what makes them tick. By establishing a network of Realtors®, providing transparency and proactively communicating, the real estate community becomes an effective origination catalyst. The housing market is sure to get hotter; the absolute best way to increase productivity, reduce your cost-to-close, and build long-term, sustainable origination business is through relationships with those that influence the real estate financing decision. Not one has more influence than real estate agents. Start building those relationships today.last_img read more

LAG Lika as an excellent example of strategic development and branding of Lika as an autochthonous tourist destination

first_imgTourism is not only the sun and the sea [Gorski Kotar Adventure / Authors: Alen Tkalčec, Arijana Tkalčec]So logical, natural and the only right path of development. Also, it is extremely important to point out that it all started with people, not with state institutions. It’s easy to whine about how you can’t and how hard it is. Yes, but start and make a quality platform and prove that it is possible, because LAG Lika is a real example of the success of this concept. And most importantly, they rounded off the whole story, Sali is on a sound footing and now this story can only grow well. “In the implementation of these integral projects so far, we have been convinced of the correctness of everything we do. We have set ourselves a deadline of 2020 by which time we will change the existing picture of both economic development and the picture of our insufficiently known tourist destination. We are not inclined to emphasize the statistics on the increase in the number of tourists every year because it happens spontaneously, especially in our individual locations. Based on the philosophy of sustainable development, our goal is to develop the destination in a quality way and at the same time strengthen local producers in order to become a recognizable gastro-destination, preserved nature and authenticity.”Kovacevic concludes.We have to respect ourselves and our tradition, culture and history and pack it all nicely into an authentic story. Tourists want to experience, taste and taste it. Unfortunately, our tourism is developing spontaneously just the opposite. I keep pointing out that continental tourism has incredible potential, and don’t forget that continental tourism lasts a whole year, not three months. On the other hand, the greatest power of the LAG are local people and partners, so get involved in this great tourist story, be what you are – local and authentic because that is exactly your greatest value.It is projects like this that need the help and support of institutions, both financial and logistical, to get the wind in their sails. Branding Lika as an area with exceptional quality food can and must be an excellent motive for tourists throughout the year, while through a complete tourist offer with the aforementioned gastronomy, richness of natural beauty and rural and adventure tourism Lika can certainly compete with other tourist destinations.On the contrary, tourism can be the new main driver of Lika and Gorski Kotar, which will start economic activity, keep the local population, and when we have a healthy and positive economic situation, then other economic branches will begin to develop.Get involved in this great tourist story, connect, exchange your experiences and create new added values. It is possible, and right LAG Lika is a real example of how it is all down to people.Related news: Apart from the beauty of the coast and the continent, clean sea and pleasant sun, Croatia is also known in terms of tourism as a country of good food. At least it should be, but unfortunately instead of focusing as much as possible on telling indigenous stories, and thus on offering indigenous gastronomic delicacies, and such an important combination of local agriculture and tourism, we continue to turn to mass tourism, and tourism less and less people can live i.e. tourist spending is not dispensed to the local economy. Which is contrary to the very essence of tourism, and yet perfectly fits the definition of mass tourism.If we walk along the coast in the summer months, we must make a good effort to find a restaurant that offers (really) locally grown food. In addition to the giant buildings of mostly foreign shopping centers that we see along the road, rare stalls offering “food from the garden” in some places still manage to conjure up the feeling of a foreign tourist that we are a Mediterranean country that really produces peaches, chard, tomatoes, cheese or honey. More perceptions of tourists could be reduced to how we produce bananas, kiwis, etc.…The motive of the trip is to get to know a new culture and way of life, and the main word is authenticity. Figuratively speaking: in Croatia we sell French wine to the French, instead of offering them our indigenous. On the other hand, Croatia is turning into one big resort where you run only for the money that earns a few or one of them, while the local population does not participate in the tourist product nor can live from tourism, turns into cheap labor or modern slaves, and the earnings go abroad instead of remaining in the local economy.The tourist season is at its peak, with record arrivals and overnight stays, record earnings, and never less dispersion of tourist spending on the local economy. Food production in Croatia, summed up in Slavonia and Baranja, Zagorje and Međimurje, Istria, Dalmatia and Lika, is insufficient to feed the number of people who will be released by official tourist statistics in the autumn. We are all aware of that, but it is just the result of years of not caring and that we are developing strategically, and I can rightly ask the question: Is enough work being done on the integral connection of producers in order to systematically include them in the tourist offer and to find more domestic food in hotels and restaurants, as well as to create a new tourist product from the offer of locally produced food?Unfortunately no. The reason for this is the systematic destruction of villages and agriculture all these years. The stories about the merger of “Blue” and “Green” Croatia are already ridiculous, unfortunately, we missed a great opportunity, due to the lack of a meaningful strategy of development and integration, while the state on the other hand encouraged imports at the expense of our production and agricultural development. Today, after 20 or more years, the price difference between the production price of domestic family farms and imports is simply too great. Solutions and successful models exist, we have all the resources, from knowledge to money, but unfortunately in the field, honoring exceptions and individuals, the story does not work at all.But it’s never too late for quality stories and projects. It is still possible today to start entire processes and connect blue and green Croatia through tourism. Rather, it should be imperative. It’s up to the people. One of the great examples of connecting agriculture and tourism and certainly the right model is example Lika Local Action Groups (LAG) which for the third year in a row organizes local producers who perform in tourist centers through the brand LIKA PEASANT MARKET. And not only that, they successfully launched the gastronomic revolution of Lika and for the first time in history the taste of irreplaceable Lika food became a brand, they combined agriculture and tourism, founded the first tourist cluster in Lika called Cluster Lika Destination, regional quality label – Lika Quality, educating and connecting all small producers, have started the process of protecting indigenous products on the EU market and much more.All with a clear vision of branding Lika and the sub-Velebit coast as a unique tourist destination, so that Lika becomes a globally recognizable destination, environmentally friendly with an excellent indigenous gastronomic offer and self-sustaining economies. The aim of the project is to include as many registered producers of food, beverages and souvenirs from our area in the Lika Peasant Market project and to provide them with sales channels that they have not had so far. “We also brand this project as a new tourist product of the destination because we are aware that domestic and foreign tourists want to experience the atmosphere of life of the domicile population, authenticity and tradition, way of trade and taste of locally produced food. Since we are working on branding Lika, Velebit and Primorje as a unique destination (Lika destination), it is extremely important for us to develop the production of food and traditional souvenirs, and we are implementing this through a five-year project of integrated economic development called INTEGRA LIKA 2020. it doesn’t happen overnight but once the project is established on a sound foundation, success will not be lacking. We have seen many so-called big projects that have shown bad results that is why we invest in working families because when you have a hardworking and stable family then you have security and life in the countryside“Points out Tomislav Kovačević, head of the Lika LAG and main coordinator of the INTEGRA LIKA 2020 project.The Lika area is a unique combination of sea, mountains and continent. Precisely this contrast of the beauties of these, mostly, protected areas, is a great trump card in tourism development. In addition to Velebit as a protected biosphere park, there are also two national parks, NP Northern Velebit and the world-famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, then the only cave park in Croatia PP Grabovača and a number of other natural phenomena.INTEGRAL TOURIST DEVELOPMENT – Rural markets as a tourist productDue to the lack of strategic tourism development in this area so far, LAG LIKA has launched a number of projects; project of integrated economic development INTEGRA LIKA 2020, then the project LIKA PEASANT MARKET – a garden of trust and with the aim of promoting and strategic development of tourism in the destination he founded a tourist cluster called LIKA DESTINATION. In order to emphasize the quality of locally produced food and classify it in the category of so-called. premium products, LAG LIKA has developed a regional quality label LIKA QUALITY whose mark is protected as a guarantee mark at the State Intellectual Property Office. He also initiated the launch of the agricultural cooperative LIKA COOP. ” Through the newly established agricultural cooperative, we bring together agricultural producers with the intention of placing their products on the market. We are aware that the current quantity of products cannot satisfy large systems, but I can say that next year we will have sufficient quantities of meat, cheese and potatoes that we will offer to large hotel houses as well as small boutique hotels and restaurants. Products with our LIKA QUALITY quality label have already been recognized in the local market and we have just started with this project. At the recent LIKA PEASANT MARKET, which we organized together with the Municipality of Karlobag as well as the municipal tourist board, we noticed a special interest of tourists for these products.”Kovačić points out.last_img read more

Lev Levi’s new Chairman of the Board and Strategic Director of Emerging Travel Group

first_imgEmerging Travel Group, an international online travel group operating in over 100 source markets with the brands RateHawk, ZenHotels and Ostrovok, has appointed global technology entrepreneur and board member Lev Levi as Chairman of the Board and Strategic Director. Komentirajući svoje imenovanje, Lev Levijevje najavio kako planira dati svoj doprinos kompaniji kako bi učvrstila svojuspjeh u B2B poslovanju i postala jedan od globalnih lidera.”Tim kompanijeEmerging Travel Group već je ostvario uspjeh na mnogim tržištima i cilje jepostati globalni lider”, dodaje Levijev iza kojegaje bogato radnoiskustvo. Suosnivač je najveće društvene mreže u Rusiji, VK.com, gdje jeobavljao funkciju operativnog direktora od 2006. do 2012. godine. Godine 2007.je bio suosnivač kompanije Selectel, vodećeg pružatelja usluga IT infrastrukture sa širokom paletom proizvoda i usluga uRusiji, gdje je obavljao funkciju generalnog direktora od 2014. do 2017. Levi will be responsible for developing and executing the company’s strategy. Prior to his official appointment, Levi worked closely with Emerging Travel Group CEO Felix Shpilman as an advisor. Emerging Travel Group CEO Felix Shpilman emphasized, congratulating Lev, that his extensive experience in creating companies and a methodical approach to their development will be valuable and will help the Emerging Travel Group to continue its global expansion.center_img Levtrenutačno obavlja funkciju predsjednika Upravnog Odbora u kompaniji Selectel,a također je član Upravnog Odbora u kompaniji Emerging Travel Group i Fnatic,globalnoj eSports organizaciji. U 2019. godini investicijska grupacija LevaLevijeva LVL1 Group vodila je prikupljanje sredstava za  Fnatic u iznosu od 19 milijuna dolara, kao irundu financiranja za Emerging Travel Group u iznosu od 10 milijuna dolara. Emerging Travel operates with three brands RateHawk, ZenHotels and Ostrovok in over 100 source markets. Their products help customers choose and book all types of accommodation with more than 1,3 million offers in 220 countries. By the way, Emerging Travel Group employs more than 900 people across Europe, the Commonwealth, the Middle East and South Africa. last_img read more

US to indict Venezuelan President Maduro on drug charges

first_imgThe US is poised to indict Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other key aides as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on an adversary it has sought to push aside, according to sources familiar with the decision.The news comes as US Attorney General William Barr prepares to make an announcement at 11 a.m. EST.President Donald Trump and top US officials have long sought to oust Maduro’s regime but have so far failed to replace him with the opposition leader they support, National Assembly President Juan Guaido. The charges, which were reported earlier by CNN and the Miami Herald, will be related to drug trafficking, the people said. About $2 billion worth of cocaine, about a quarter of what’s produced in Colombia in a year, passes through Venezuela before making its way to other countries last year, according to Jeremy McDermott, co-founder of Insight Crime, a research group that studies organized crime.There’s evidence that the criminal groups that transport these drugs have infiltrated Venezuelan government security forces, forming a network known as the ‘Cartel of the Suns’ to facilitate the passage of illicit drugs into and out the country, according to a 2019 report by the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board.The indictment against Maduro, a sitting head of state, would be the first since the US issued charges against former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. Noriega was eventually captured and sentenced to prison after then-President George H.W. Bush sent troops to the country to bring him to justice.Topics :last_img read more

Transportation minister leaves hospital after one month of COVID-19 treatment

first_imgRead also: BREAKING: Indonesian transportation minister tests positive for COVID-19During Budi’s treatment at the hospital, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was appointed acting transportation minister for the length of Budi’s absence.Before the announcement that Budi had tested positive for COVID-19, the minister been absent from a number of events he had been scheduled to attend. Prior to that, he had been on a number of work-related trips, including to Kertajati Airport in West Java and Luwu and Toraja in South Sulawesi. He was also active in the evacuation of Indonesian crew members from the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship on March 2.Topics : Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has been discharged from Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Jakarta after about a month of treatment for COVID-19. “Transportation Minister, Bapak Budi Karya Sumadi, has returned to his home after being treated at RSPAD. His current condition is healthy and he is now in recovery and self-isolation for 14 days in accordance with doctors’ instructions,” Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawaty explained in a written statement on Wednesday. The government announced on March 14 that Budi, who has long suffered from asthma, had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized at RSPAD. State Secretary Pratikno said that Budi was identified as Case 76 in Indonesia. As of Tuesday afternoon, Indonesia had recorded more than 4,800 cases of COVID-19 with 459 deaths.last_img read more

Nicaragua releases 2,800 prisoners to house arrest to contain virus

first_imgLast week, Amnesty International complained that 12 opposition detainees were showing symptoms but were not receiving medical attention.Authorities have told the International Red Cross that they have not confirmed any COVID-19 cases in prisons.According to official data, Nicaragua has recorded only 16 coronavirus cases and five deaths.But civil society groups say there have been at least 780 suspected cases that have been treated or recorded as pneumonia. The government denies the claims. But none of them were among the 2,815 prisoners the interior ministry said had been released from Nicaragua’s prisons, defense lawyer Yonarki Martinez told AFP.”It’s obvious that there’s no respect for human rights and the health of those denied their freedom,” Martinez said.The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called for the “immediate liberation” of the country’s political prisoners.Martinez said some of those opposition figures were had symptoms of COVID-19, including fever and breathing difficulties, but had not received medical attention. Nicaragua released more than 2,800 prisoners to house arrest on Wednesday to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but advocates said there were no political prisoners among them.Authorities have jailed at least 86 opposition figures and supporters of rights groups under the government of Daniel Ortega — a former rebel hero who has been in power since 2007 and is now accused of running a repressive dictatorship. Many of those prisoners were arrested during 2018 protests against Ortega that rights groups said left 300 people dead.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indian city imposes ‘triple lockdown’ as coronavirus cases surge

first_imgBut since then nearly half a million people, mostly migrant workers, have arrived back in Kerala from abroad or from other Indian states. On Wednesday, the state recorded the highest single-day spike of 301 infections, taking the total to 6,301.Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had voiced concerns about an outbreak if people were not tested before coming back, has attributed the rise in numbers to the returnees, saying they account for more than 80% of coronavirus cases.”The city seems to be sitting on an active volcano,” said Kadakampally Surendran, the state minister in charge of the area, urging people to “strictly follow” the lockdown measures.Thiruvananthapuram’s deputy mayor Rakhi Ravi Kumar said the rise in cases risked becoming unmanageable as people continued to return to the already densely populated city. The capital of an Indian state that won praise for its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic has enforced a strict lockdown after a surge in cases, with one minister saying the city was “sitting on an active volcano”.Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala implemented what it called a “triple lockdown” this week, as India overtook Russia to record the world’s third-highest number of coronavirus infections.Kerala’s strict early measures to curb the coronavirus’s spread meant it had just about 100 cases in May, a scenario that propelled its health minister – a retired teacher with a previously low profile – to rockstar status. Residents are allowed to go out to buy essential items like groceries and medicine only between 7a.m. and 11a.m. Each neighborhood can have one shop open.”People are allowed only to the nearest shop in the area. If they go further, the police will stop and send them back. We are implementing it strictly to prevent the virus from spreading further,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Lockdown rulesNeighborhoods have been sealed with a single entry and exit point under the “triple lockdown”, which refers to movement of people and vehicles; households with infected people, and clusters where people who have had contact with infected people live.People have been advised to stay at home and those who go out must carry signed forms declaring why for police inspection. All offices, businesses and public transport have been shut.City inhabitant K. X. Thomas said there were police everywhere and he had been stopped three times when he went to buy fish in the morning.”Police allowed me to pass only after ensuring that I had a mask and I was going to buy essentials. This is the strictest enforcement of lockdown I have seen,” he said.The state has made wearing masks and social distancing mandatory for a year, and banned spitting in public.Violating these rules can result in a fine of up to 10,000 rupees ($133) or two years in prison.Divya Gopinath, a city deputy commissioner of police, said nearly 220 people were arrested in the first two days of the new lockdown and 208 vehicles seized.”We have been very strict in implementing the lockdown,” she said.”We deployed police personnel on all roads and streets … and have given them instructions to arrest the violators and shift them to institutional quarantine centers.”Social media users in other states where cases have risen sharply, such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Assam, urged authorities to implement similar lockdowns.Several states have either already introduced weekend curfews and extended existing lockdowns as the situation worsens.India has more than 740,000 cases, trailing the United States and Brazil, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.”This is a right step to contain the spread of the virus,” said Sreejith N. Kumar, former state president of the Indian Medical Association, of Kerala’s lockdown. “It is heartening to note that people are cooperating with the authorities.”Topics :last_img read more

Rare tropical island with just one home on it hits the market

first_imgThis stunning and spacious Pelorus Island property could be all yours.IF you’ve ever dreamt of escaping to an island, here’s your chance.Pelorus Island’s only residential property is being offered to the market for the first time with the 30-year residential lease covering 4040sq m of prime ocean frontage and exclusive access to one of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s most stunning offerings — accessible only via private boat or helicopter.This archipelago is widely acknowledged by the boating community as among the best, and most unpopulated, boating destinations in the world, says listing agent James Pascoe. Pelorus Island island is a fishing and boating dream.The property also comes with a fully equipped workshop, a 4×4 tractor and 6.3m Dale boat, beach trailer and 5hp reduction winch on the island along with a road trailer located at Dungeness near Lucinda. “The lease is 30 years (automatically renewable at 85 per cent of expired term) and still has 29 years to run,” Mr Pascoe said.“It is for residential purposes only but buyers are able to build new additional accommodation but may not operate as a resort.” Could this be North Queensland’s best beachside home?“History is that it was part of the Coral Princess Cruise operation with weekly visits from the boat on its Cairns, Hinchinbrook Channel/ Palm group/Barrier Reef five-day cruise,” he said.“The Coral Princess Cruise business was sold to Singaporean interests who didn’t want the island, as their concentration is now on the Kimberleys, thus the owner now has no use for it and the managers are retiring to Mackay.” More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoA spacious island cottage is one of the many extras included in this island property dream.The property comprises a single-level, open-plan cottage and outdoor facilities that take in the best aspects of Pelorus. Fully furnished with unfettered access to all the natural and untouched beauty of the island, this residence has a sprawling veranda at front with sweeping views to the ocean and surrounds just metres from the water.The self-sufficient residence is fully powered by solar with large battery storage systems and dual backup generators on site. Pelorus Island is heaven on earth.Due to its unique positioning, only 17km east of Lucinda, the property has already attracted the interest of numerous buyers, both locally and nationally.“There has been significant local interest from individuals plus syndicates of five or six members looking to use for, say, two months each,” Mr Pascoe said.“Nationally we have had nearly 100 what we regard as reasonably serious inquiries.“We have fielded offers in  the  $1.2 million to $1.5 million range but we had thought it might be worth circa $2 million.”last_img read more

Direct assault rap lands man in jail

first_imgAgustin’s apprehension was staged on thestrength of an arrest warrant, the police added. He was detained in the lockup cell ofthe Lambunao police station. ILOILO City – Police arrested a manfacing direct assault charges in Barangay Jayobo, Lambunao, Iloilo. Resident RM Agustin, 16, was caughtaround 10:50 a.m. on Monday, police said. The court recommended an P18,000 bailbond for Agustin’s temporary liberty./PNlast_img