Pacific Ethanol, Inc. enters into agreement to sell ownership interest in Pacific Aurora, LLC

first_imgAurora Cooperative currently holds a 26% ownership interest in Pacific Aurora Pacific Ethanol, Inc. enters into agreement to sell ownership interest in Pacific Aurora, LLC. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay) Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX), a leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels and high-quality alcohol products in the United States, announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its 74% ownership interest in Pacific Aurora, LLC to the Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company (Aurora Cooperative) for $52.8 million of consideration, subject to certain working capital adjustments. Aurora Cooperative currently holds a 26% ownership interest in Pacific Aurora, LLC. Included in the sale are two ethanol production facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 145 million gallons, a grain elevator with storage capacity of 4.1 million bushels and integrated rail facilities located in Aurora, Nebraska. After working capital adjustments and the settlement of certain payables between Pacific Aurora, LLC and the Aurora Cooperative, the consideration received at closing is expected to be approximately $27 million in cash and $16.5 million in promissory notes. The sale is anticipated to close within the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol’s president and CEO, stated, “We are pleased to come to agreement with our valued partner Aurora Cooperative. The sale of our interest is a win-win for both companies, strengthening Pacific Ethanol’s balance sheet while providing Aurora Cooperative with full ownership of these assets. We are confident that under Aurora Cooperative’s capable management and farmer ownership the facilities will provide value to the local community and the overall ethanol industry. We are committed to a smooth transition of operations and look forward to further collaboration with Aurora Cooperative in growing a successful ethanol business.”Chris Vincent, Aurora Cooperative President and CEO, stated, “This investment is a great opportunity for Aurora Cooperative, its owners, and the communities that we support. We understand the significance that these two ethanol plants, grain facilities and rail assets mean to our owners. Achieving full ownership of this local destination market is pivotal to our shared success. We look forward to these assets providing long term value for our owners, our Cooperative and our communities.”last_img read more

O.C. Chamber “Welcome Night” Joins Businesses and Community

first_imgBeachin’ Bakery owner Aileen Lynch (right) and employee Pam Gray deliver sweet treats to attendees at the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commere “Welcome Night.” By Maddy VitaleAileen Lynch opened Beachin’ Bakery, 1046 Asbury Ave. in Ocean City, back in May, with the help of her sole employee, Pam Gray.Lynch, of Ocean City, was inspired to bake when she had her son, Sebastian, who is now 5. Then, the mother of two, with a master’s degree in technology, decided to go into the baking business. At first, she baked for friends. That is how she met Gray.“We are still learning the ropes of being in business,” Lynch said Wednesday night at the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce “Welcome Night.”Shore Medical Center Marketing Director Brian Cahill explains some of Shore’s programs to an event-goer.Every year, the Chamber of Commerce hosts the event to introduce new and current residents to community, civic and social organizations, community leaders and city officials, as well as local businesses, including restaurants, financial and insurance services, retail stores and medical offices.More than 60 tables, from businesses to non-profits and police and emergency personnel, filled the Ocean City Civic Center, 6th Street and the Boardwalk.Lynch looked around at the people lining her table anxiously awaiting some of her sugar cookies and said of owning a business, “It’s been going great. I think joining the Chamber really was super helpful.”Riley Hill, 6, of Egg Harbor Township, tries a sweet.She added that the Chamber helps by getting their names out in the public. “We also get to meet other small business owners,” she added.Gray said being a two-person team has its challenges, but that they really had a good summer and attribute some of their success to the support of the business community. The duo also hopes to build on the momentum by expanding their name recognition even further.Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Shawnda McGinnis said Beachin’ Bakery is a good example of a budding new business that benefits from belonging to the Chamber.“It’s a great networking event for our businesses and local organizations and for the public to come and see what Ocean City has to offer,” McGinnis said.Brothers Bill (left) and Brian McMahon, owners of the McMahon Agency, hand out a promotional bag to an event-goer.Thriving, well-established businesses, such as Jilly’s, a collection of family-owned Boardwalk retail outlets, has a table set up every year for the “Welcome Night” with candies and other giveaways.People perused their table and enjoyed some free candies and other goodies.Jody Levchuk, one of the Jilly’s owners, said the event helps both new and old businesses cultivate customers and get their name out in the public eye.“It is a good event because people get to find out about new businesses and meet business owners,” Levchuk said.Rose Savastano, of the Chamber of Commerce, poses with Mayor Jay Gillian.While business owners and residents chatted, city officials greeted business owners and attendees.Among the city officials at the event were Mayor Jay Gillian and Business Administrator George Savastano.The mayor called the event crucial for the business community.“It brings our city together, young and old alike. With competition from the big box stores, small businesses need all of the help they can get,” Gillian said. “I am proud of all of the work our Chamber does for the business community.”The Thomas Heist Insurance Company with Tom Heist Sr. pictured.Thomas Heist Insurance Company, a well-established Ocean City business, displayed notebooks, pens, magnets, calendars and other items for the taking on their table.Tom Heist Sr. said, “The night is really great for Ocean City.”Ann Gulian, an executive at Thomas Heist Insurance Company, called the well-attended event “unbelievable.”“This is one of the busiest ones we have gone to,” Gulian said.To contact the Chamber of Commerce call (609) 399-1412 or email at [email protected] or visit www.oceancityvacation.com.Ocean City Special Events Director Michael Hartman talks with a resident.City Business Administrator George Savastano, left, talks with Sea Isle AARP President Frank Roach.last_img read more

Esquires Coffee Houses expands on UK franchise

first_imgEsquires Coffee Houses UK has announced plans to grow its franchise by another eight stores in the UK, by summer 2009.The company, now in its tenth year of trading, currently has 25 outlets in the UK. It opened the first of its planned eight outlets in Letchworth Garden City, Herfordshire a couple of weeks ago and hopes to have another open by the end of February.Peter Kirton, managing director of Esquires Coffee Houses UK, said he had identified a number of locations that he believed would fit with Esquires’ offering. “We’ve had an overwhelming level of interest in the Esquires Coffee Houses franchise operation over the past year,” said Kirton. “Though we are not able to disclose exact locations at this point, I am pleased to say that the new stores will be well spread across the country.”Kirton sees the business as direct competition with the likes of Caffè Nero and Coffee Republic, but said the business hasn’t got the same presence yet, due to its lack of London sites.The coffee chain offers a range of sandwiches, paninis, sweet pastries, cakes and muffins, some of which are baked-off on-site. It also sells only Fairtrade certified teas, coffees and hot chocolate.In terms of changes to the food offering in future, Kirton said Esquires was considering offering more baked-off products in its outlets. “We’re continually reviewing our offering and also considering healthier options,” he added.The chain’s Canadian parent company has also just announced agreements to open a combined total of 585 stores across China, India, the Middle East and Egypt, as part of the firm’s plans to further expand its internatio- nal franchises.last_img read more

Reforming the criminal justice system

first_img Prison education at Harvard Youth justice study finds prison counterproductive Stern posed questions to Warnock written by her students, some of whom wanted to know what direct actions they could take. Warnock encouraged them to consider helping create voting precincts inside county jails as a way of ensuring more people’s voices count in elections. (The vast majority of states prohibit jailed felons from voting, but often those being held are awaiting trial or have been convicted of only misdemeanors and so are still eligible to vote in many states.) His church, he said, has also sponsored expungement events during which they were able to clear the records of those with minor offenses, and he urged the audience to get involved in similar efforts.The key, said Warnock, is to act.“I am clear that 50 years from now … our children, our grandchildren are going to ask us, ‘What were you doing while this human rights nightmare unfolded on your watch?’”The second in the series of the Memorial Church’s William Belden Noble Lectures will be Nov. 20. The lectures were established in 1898 by Nannie Yulee Noble in memory of her husband. Subsequent lectures are scheduled for March 11 and April 22. The endless struggle over racism The formerly incarcerated, activists, and academics convene to discuss University’s programs, ties New report documents urgent need to replace youth prisons with rehabilitation-focused alternatives center_img Forum examines rising tide of hate, while promoting approaches that encourage tolerance Related For Raphael G. Warnock, the work of helping reform the nation’s criminal-justice system is deeply personal. His older brother Keith, a first-time offender, was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent drug-related offense in 1997.“He is a veteran of the first Gulf War and has been a model prisoner, no easy feat amid the challenges of prison life, since his incarceration 22 years ago,” said Warnock during a campus talk Wednesday evening. “Yet it is the stigma of color and criminality that makes his story not as uncommon as one might think.”In a discussion at Harvard’s Memorial Church, the Atlanta preacher called mass incarceration “a scandal on the soul of America” and challenged his listeners to “imagine a different future.” An activist and pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. served until his death in 1968, Warnock said the issue is the nation’s most pressing civil rights problem and that finding ways to stop a system rooted in slavery that disproportionately locks up men of color is a moral imperative. According to The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C., research and advocacy center, people of color make up 37 percent of the nation’s population but 67 percent of inmates in prison.Warnock delivered his message during the first of four William Belden Noble lectures that will continue through April. The series, founded in 1898 through a bequest of Nannie Yulee Noble in memory of her husband, has featured various prominent thinkers, civic leaders, writers, and artists through the years, including Theodore Roosevelt, Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, as well as author Marilynne Robinson, former special assistant to President Barack Obama Joshua DuBois, and documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson.Over the next several months, Warnock will return to campus for three lectures that will address voting rights and voter disenfranchisement, poverty, and climate change.,Many experts attribute the nation’s soaring prison population to Bill Clinton’s $30 billion crime bill signed into law in 1994 that included tougher prison sentences and more money to build prisons. Others see its roots in the war on drugs waged by President Richard Nixon, who introduced the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, aimed at getting drugs and those selling them off the streets. That law swelled the nation’s prison population and was expanded a decade later by President Ronald Reagan. Some, including Harvard’s Elizabeth Hinton, trace its beginnings back to the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, whose progressive social agenda became entwined with his anti-crime programs. When numerous programs run by social workers were defunded, the police took on the role of administering them. The shift gave law enforcement “more and more opportunities to supervise a population they saw as troublesome,” Hinton, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, told the Gazette in 2016.Warnock sees the current crisis as an extension of slavery and the laws created to enforce segregation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He cited the work of author Michelle Alexander, who argues the “mass incarceration of tens of thousands of black men for nonviolent, drug-related offenses and the lifelong consequences that result are constituent parts of the new Jim Crow” that denies them their right to citizenship, their right to vote, opportunity, upward social mobility, and more.“I agree,” said Warnock.The dilemmais also a failing of communities of faith that have too long remained silent, he said, urging churches to get more directly involved and noting that their pastoral care and spiritual guidance of those who are now or were formerly incarcerated doesn’t touch the root of the problem. Real change, he said requires, a fundamental challenge to the current political system, and a “national multifaith movement.” “I am clear that 50 years from now … our children, our grandchildren are going to ask us, ‘What were you doing while this human rights nightmare unfolded on your watch?’” — Raphael G. Warnock To jump-start that campaign Warnock co-sponsored “Let My People Go!,” a multifaith conference in June that brought together people from different backgrounds and religious traditions to explore practical ways to make change in a country that has the highest incarceration rate in the world. A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that as of 2016 almost 2.2 million Americans were in prison or jail. As part of the conference, the organizers developed online guides and materials aimed at helping people develop strategic legislative agendas at the local, state, and national levels, organize an interfaith network of partners focused on abolishing mass incarceration, and create a media strategy that can reframe public understanding of the problem.“This national effort, taken on in partnership with others, builds upon years of advocacy and activism,” and seeks to change a system too often “more criminal than just,” said Warnock.After delivering his remarks, Warnock engaged in a conversation with Kaia Stern, M.T.S. ’99, RI ’19, the director of Harvard’s Prison Studies Project, a lecturer at the Graduate School of Education, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s first practitioner-in-residence. At Radcliffe, Stern is working on a new initiative on law, justice, and education with an approach she calls “transformative justice.”last_img read more

Diversity awards given

first_imgBy April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaA University of Georgia instructor, a federal communications specialist, a UGA Cooperative Extension team and a national student organization were honored for their work and commitments to the improvement of diversity in Georgia at the D.W. Brooks Awards for Excellence ceremony Oct. 7 in Athens, Ga. Presented by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the award program honors Gold Kist Inc. founder D.W. Brooks. A CAES alumnus, Brooks advised seven U.S. presidents on agriculture and trade issues. Although he died in 1999, his promotion of agriculture lives on through the awards.Maria Navarro was given the faculty award for her work in diversity education. She is an assistant professor in the CAES department of agricultural leadership, education and communication. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in international agriculture and development, hunger issues and program planning and evaluation. Navarro works closely with UGA student organizations to eliminate worldwide hunger and poverty. Her research addresses student learning and curriculum change in higher education, communication and extension issues for agricultural and human development around the world. While at UGA, she has participated in development and outreach programs in Mexico, Argentina and Armenia. For building bridges of unity and understanding between UGA and Athens-Clarke County communities, she was given the 2007 UGA president’s Fulfilling the Dream Award.Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences won the diversity award for a student organization. MANRRS is a national society that promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities. It welcomes the participation of people from all backgrounds and recruits minority students into agricultural and related science fields.The UGA MANRRS chapter conducts local food drives and an annual event focused on cleaning the Oconee River.A family and consumer science team from Colquitt County in south Georgia won the unit diversity award for their work in addressing issues related to poverty and changing demographics in its area. Led by UGA Extension specialists with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the team provides programs that contribute to greater economic stability, safer neighborhoods and affordable housing, as well as leadership development among diverse, ethnic, racial and socioeconomic populations. For the county’s growing Latino population, the team works closely with local community organizations to provide bilingual education in nutrition, food safety, child development, parenting, home ownership, financial education and leadership development. The diversity staff award went to Gwen Roland, a communications specialist for the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program housed at the UGA Griffin campus. SARE is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Roland established and maintains a volunteer organization on the campus to encourage understanding and friendship across racial and cultural barriers. The Racial Appreciation Cultural Enrichment lunch group is a monthly brown-bag gathering that allows members to make observations about their own backgrounds, ask questions of others and share information from their different cultural perspectives. The newfound friendships grew into home visits, a folk dance group and a farmers’ market. (April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

FairPoint customer service call center returns to service

first_imgAt approximately 2:30 p.m. today FairPoint Communications restored access to its customer service call centers. Customers are now able to call the Consumer, Small Business or Repair Service Centers. The company appreciates its customers patience while they worked through this problem. FairPoint will increase the number of technicians working over the weekend to respond to any backlog of customer service reports resulting from the call center outage. Though at this time FairPoint s focus has been on restoring access to the customer service centers, a full review of the root cause of the outage will be conducted.last_img read more

Cops: Man Wanted for Questioning in W. Babylon Sexual Assault

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Photo of man wanted in connection with an alleged sexual assault in December.Suffolk County police are asking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man wanted for questioning in connection with an alleged sexual assault in December.Police said a woman was sexually assaulted at a commercial building at 609 Route 109, West Babylon on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m.A description of the man wanted for questioning was not provided but a photo was released.Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.last_img read more

Three deaths in Vietnam blamed on avian flu

first_imgEditor’s note: This story was revised Aug 13, 2004, to include additional information from the World Health Organization.Aug 12, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Three people in Vietnam died recently of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.If the report is accurate, the three are the first human victims of avian flu since March. In Asia’s widespread outbreaks earlier this year, the H5N1 virus infected 34 people and killed 23, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.The latest victims, two of whom were small children, all tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to Trinh Quan Huan, head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s Department for Preventative Medicine and HIV/AIDS, as reported by the AP. The three people died between Jul 30 and Aug 1, Trinh said.However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the strain of virus in the three victims had not been fully identified. Initial tests have identified the virus as the H5 subtype, but further testing is needed to determine if it is H5N1, the WHO said in a statement dated Aug 12. The agency also said H5N1 is the only strain of the H5 subtype known to jump directly from poultry to humans and cause illness.Trinh said a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old died in Ha Tay province about 30 miles west of Hanoi, while the other victim died in Hau Giang province in the Mekong Delta, about 110 miles south of Ho Chi Minh City, the AP reported. The story gave no other details about the third victim and did not say how the patients were infected.Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday that Vietnamese health officials were investigating whether avian flu or SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) caused the recent deaths of four people who had respiratory infections. Those four died between Jul 29 and Aug 2, but all of them lived in Hau Giang province, according to the story.The AFP report said a clinical sample from one of the four patients was being tested, but no samples were available from the other three deceased patients.According to the AP report, Hans Troedsson, head of the WHO office in Hanoi, said he would ask the Vietnamese government for permission to send samples from the latest case-patients to a foreign laboratory for testing.Avian flu killed 15 people in Vietnam and 8 in Thailand earlier this year, according to WHO figures. But reports attributed to the Vietnamese government have generally listed 16 deaths in Vietnam. Before the recent deaths, the last avian flu–related death in Vietnam was that of a 12-year-old boy in March, according to government sources.All the human cases earlier this year were attributed to exposure to poultry, not to contact with other infected people. Disease experts are concerned that if the H5N1 virus infects a person already carrying a human flu virus, the two viruses could combine and produce a variant that could spread easily from person to person, potentially starting a pandemic.Since late June, avian flu has resurfaced in Thailand, Indonesia, and China as well as Vietnam. Vietnam has had outbreaks in 12 provinces since Mar 30, when the government declared the country was free of the disease, according to AFP.In related developments, South African officials were testing ostriches nationwide in the wake of the recent discovery of H5N2 avian flu on two ostrich farms in the Eastern Cape province, according to another AFP report today.Culling of 6,000 ostriches on the two affected farms was under way, and up to 30,000 ostriches might be slaughtered in the surrounding area, the report said. The H5N2 virus has been described as harmless to humans.The outbreak prompted the South African government to halt all poultry exports last week. The European Union and Switzerland have banned imports of ostrich meat from South Africa, the AFP report said.See also:Aug 12 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2004_08_12/en/last_img read more

Jakarta secures food supply for Ramadan, Idul Fitri as COVID-19 stokes anxieties

first_imgThe Jakarta administration has secured sufficient food supplies for residents to prevent shortages during the coming Islamic holy month of Ramadan as the COVID-19 outbreak stokes uncertainty in the capital, the country’s hardest-hit area.“The food supply is enough for the needs leading up to Ramadan and through Idul Fitri,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said during an online video conference with Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on Thursday.The month of Ramadan will begin on April 23 and will end with Idul Fitri celebrations. People typically buy more during the fasting month, which pushes up the prices of basic commodities. The city administration is expecting a surge in demand for staple foods as millions of Jakartans are Muslim, 85.3 percent of the capital’s 10 million people, according to the 2010 census.Some commodities, such as garlic and sugar, are of particular concern in Jakarta. Statistics Indonesia’s Jakarta office (BPS Jakarta) found that the average price of garlic had risen by 0.21 percent to Rp 44,465 (US$2.68) per kilogram and the average price of sugar by 20.62 percent to Rp 15,583 per kilogram, according to data released on Wednesday.Read also: 70 million informal workers most vulnerable during pandemicPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously said the government would keep garlic prices between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 per kilogram and would keep sugar prices to Rp 12,500 per kilogram by procuring additional supplies from overseas. Disrupted logistics, however, are posing a challenge to both the administration and the central government’s plans to ensure the food supply. Jakarta has had the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. As the national epicenter of the outbreak, the capital city has declared a state of emergency between March 16 and April 19, including the suspension of schools, in-office work, large religious gatherings and public activities.The suspension of such activities is in line with the government’s recently issued large-scale social restriction (PSBB) measure.The suspension of public religious activities drew the government’s attention as Muslims traditionally perform more rituals during the holy month.Read also: People are dying, ‘Pak’ Ma’ruf: Anies reports Jakarta’s harrowing situation to VPWhen Vice President Ma’ruf asked Anies how long the measures would last, the governor said his administration had not made any decisions.“We still have time, and we will observe the developments before Ramadan,” said Anies. “We will probably wait for the Indonesian Ulema Council [MUI] to give advice if the COVID-19 situation shows no improvement leading up to Ramadan.”In addition to declaring a state of emergency, the Jakarta administration is allocating Rp 3 trillion of its Rp 87.9 trillion 2020 regional budget for COVID-19 efforts until May. “If [the outbreak] drags on beyond May, we will definitely raise the allocation,” Anies said.The governor is planning to allocate more money to fund the COVID-19 response from a profit-sharing fund worth Rp 7.5 trillion run by the Finance Ministry.Topics :last_img read more

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sets Premier League record as Manchester United draw to leaders Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool have returned to the top of the table (Picture: PA)United drop to fifth behind Arsenal, who beat Southampton 2-0 at home this weekend.Speaking after the match, Liverpool’s James Milner told Sky Sports: ‘The clean sheet is pleasing. This isn’t an easy place to come, United have been playing really well recently.‘Hopefully it turns out to be a good point at the end of the season. The final ball wasn’t there today.’More to follow… Metro Sport ReporterSunday 24 Feb 2019 3:58 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.5kShares Advertisement Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sets Premier League record as Manchester United draw to leaders Liverpool Advertisement Manchester United held new Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set a Premier League record for the most points won by a manager in his first ten matches in charge after Manchester United drew to Liverpool.Solskjaer, who was placed in temporary charge of the Red Devils in December following Jose Mourinho’s sacking, has taken 26 points from his first ten league games at United.Sunday’s 0-0 draw with new Premier League leaders Liverpool saw Solskjaer break the record held by former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.In a match which lacked any real clear-cut chances, Manchester United were forced to make all three substitutions in the opening 45 minutes.AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityJuan Mata, Ander Herrera and substitute Jesse Lingard were all forced off for the home side, which meant the seemingly injured Marcus Rasford had to stay on.Liverpool dominated possession in the first half but could not trouble United goalkeeper David de Gea.Manchester United, meanwhile, threatened from set-pieces and Joel Matip’s blushes were saved by the offside flag after he put the ball into the back of his own net.The goalless draw ensures Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League, one point clear of Manchester City, who face Chelsea in the EFL Cup final on Sunday afternoon. Commentlast_img read more