Berkshire Bank,Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Bank, with locations in Vermont and throughout New England, New York and the Mid-Atlantic, today announced its Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual NeXt Gen Scholars Program(link is external). High school seniors, college students and adults who live in or attend a school in select communities(link is external) served by Berkshire Bank in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and are pursuing an undergraduate degree from an accredited non-profit college or technical school in the fall of 2021 are eligible to apply.A total of $100,000 in scholarships will be awarded to 40 individuals.Applications will be evaluated based on the individual’s record of volunteer service, academic success, and financial need. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a household income under $100,000 (or individual income of $50,000) to be eligible to apply. Recipients will embody academic excellence, share in Berkshire’s Be FIRST values(link is external) of Belonging, Focusing, Inclusion, Respect, Service and Teamwork, and at their core possess an unsurpassed passion to improve the lives of those around them through volunteerism.Each NeXt Gen Scholar will receive $2,500 in funding to support their education efforts.“Berkshire Bank Foundation is pleased to support a new class of scholarship recipients in 2021,” said Lori Kiely, Director of Berkshire Bank Foundation.“We have offered this scholarship for the past 11 years as part of our ongoing commitment to help students in the communities in which we operate access further education and give back to their local areas. We look forward to seeing the future accomplishments of our Scholars.” A team of more than 100 Bank employee volunteers will review the applications and select this year’s recipients. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm EST on January 31, 2021. To learn more about the program or apply online, please visit www.berkshirebank.com/scholarships(link is external).About Berkshire BankBerkshire Bank is transforming into a 21st-century community bank with $12.6 billion in assets. We are pursuing purpose driven performance based on our Be FIRST corporate responsibility culture. Berkshire Bank provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, wealth management, investment and insurance services through 130 branch offices in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including Commerce Bank, a division of Berkshire Bank. Berkshire Bank was awarded the Top Corporate Steward Citizens award by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2019 for the small-middle market business category. Headquartered in Boston, Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank. To learn more, call 800- 773-5601 or follow us on: Facebook(link is external), Twitter(link is external), Instagram(link is external), and LinkedIn(link is external).Source: BOSTON (November 17, 2020) – Berkshire Bank
Study: Flu vaccine coverage up in young kids but still below 50%Although complete flu vaccine coverage increased dramatically from 2002-03 to 2011-12 in kids under 2 years old, it still falls well below 50% and is even lower in minority groups, according to a study yesterday in Pediatrics.Scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Leidos Inc of Atlanta analyzed National Immunization Survey data on children 6 months to 23 months of age over 10 influenza seasons beginning in 2002-03. They found that complete flu vaccination in that age-group increased from 4.8% in 2002-03 to 44.7% in 2011-12.They also found that, in all the seasons, vaccination uptake was lower in African-American and Hispanic children compared with white kids.The authors conclude, “More implementation of evidence-based strategies that increase the percentage of children who are fully vaccinated is needed.”Feb 2 Pediatrics study Avian flu outbreaks reported in Taiwan, South Africa, and MacaoIn separate reports posted by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) yesterday, officials confirmed H5N2 and H5N8 avian flu in Taiwanese poultry and H7N3 in South African ostriches, and a media report today noted an H7 strain in the Chinese region of Macao.H5N2 was confirmed on three farms near Tainan City in southwestern Taiwan and in Taoyuan County in the northwest, according to the first report. The flocks ranged in size from 3,000 to 23,000 ducks or geese, and all outbreaks began in the first part of January. Of 34,630 poultry on the four farms, 17,287 birds died from the virus, and the rest were culled to prevent outbreak spread.The H5N8 outbreak in Taiwan, in contrast, involved just one small flock at an abattoir in Kaohsiung County in the southwestern part of the island. On Jan 22, 1 chicken of 426 died of the virus, and the rest were euthanized as part of response efforts. Polymerase chain reaction tests confirmed H5N8 on Jan 25.The OIE report from South Africa detailed two outbreaks of H7N3 involving farm flocks of 612 and 3,835 ostriches in Western Cape province in the far south that happened last fall. The smaller flock saw 232 deaths from the virus, and the larger had 366 bird fatalities. No surviving birds were culled, but quarantine and other measures have been implemented.In Macao, an area of China near Hong Kong, meanwhile, an H7 avian flu strain was detected in samples from poultry sold at a street market, local officials reported, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. Authorities said 15,000 live chickens had been imported recently from Guangdong province and have been euthanized. They also suspended live-poultry sales for 3 days.Feb 2 OIE report on H5N2 in Taiwan Feb 2 OIE report on H5N8 in Taiwan Feb 2 OIE report on H7N3 in South Africa Feb 3 Xinhua story
WILLIAM D. NORRIS, SR.July 1, 1934 – June 22, 2020In a long career in law enforcement and civil service, William D. Norris, Sr., was known to always do what was right, champion the underdog, and for asking: “How about those Cowboys?” a reference to his favorite football team.Bill died suddenly at his Santa Fe home Monday, June 22, 2020. He had spent the previous day, Father’s Day, enjoying his favorite food, laughing and celebrating his family. He was always a man with a smile and a joke. He was 85.Bill was the fourth of six children born to Adna Chaffee “Steve” Norris and Lydia Margarete Edgerton Norris July 1, 1934, in Lincoln, Nebraska. His family relocated to New Mexico when he was a teenager. He graduated from Pojoaque High School.He joined the United States Marine Corps Aug. 5, 1953, attended boot camp at Camp Pendleton, and was stationed in Japan. He received an honorable discharge Aug. 8, 1956. He was always mindful of the lessons he learned: semper fidelis.Upon his discharge, Bill returned to northern New Mexico. On an outing with his brother Jim, he met his bride at the popular Adobe Club in Pojoaque. Irma Marquez was out with friends that night. He often said, with a twinkle in his eye and a giant grin, that they danced, she laid her head on his chest and the rest was history. Bill and Irma were married Jan. 10, 1959.During the early years of their 61-year marriage, Bill worked for the State of New Mexico Highway Department on a land survey crew stationed in Socorro. When the commute became too much for the young Santa Fe family, Bill began his law enforcement career with the Santa Fe Police Department (SFPD). After two years at SFPD, he transferred to the Los Alamos Police Department (LAPD) where he held many hats: patrol officer, undercover/narcotics agent, sergeant and lieutenant. After 24 years at LAPD, Bill returned to the Santa Fe Police Department where he retired in 1984.Always a man of adventure, Bill started a career at the United States Post Office where he could engage in his favorite past time: visiting with people.In 1996, he went on to be known as “Bailiff Billy” or the “Donut Dude” at a new role as a Santa Fe County Magistrate Court bailiff. In all his various careers Bill touched countless lives, always with a smile, a kind word, and focused on making a positive impact on his community.While living in Los Alamos, Bill was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parrish. Upon their return to Santa Fe, Bill and Irma became members of Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community.In addition to his parents, Bill is pre-deceased by brothers: Lester Norris and Jim Norris; daughter, Gloria Allen; grandson, Nathan Lee Norris; brothers-in law: T.R. Hardin, Bill Banks, John Dunaway, Willie Marquez and Horacio Trujillo; sisters-in-law: Norma Norris, Adella Diaz, and Mary Lou Trujillo.He is survived by his bride – his loving wife, Irma Florence Marquez Norris; his children: Danny T. (Tina) Norris, Los Alamos; James (Lorella) Norris, Albuquerque; Jeanette (Dan) Machesic, Littleton, CO; Deborah A. Norris (Gary) Sparks, Santa Fe; and, William D. Norris, Jr., Santa Fe. His sisters: Margaret “Tiny” Hardin (Groves, TX); Mary Lou “Louie” Banks (Dallas); and, Martha Dunaway, (Roswell); son-in-law, Garry Allen (Los Alamos); 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren.A rosary will be recited by the Caballeros de Vargas Tuesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community. A mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. A burial will be held at Santa Fe National Cemetery at a later time. Masks will be worn and social distancing will be practiced.The family thanks: Dr. Fen Sartorious his friend and confidant of 30 years; the staff of Rodeo Family Medicine; Dr. Michael Wagner; Thomas Casias of Giving Home Health Care; and, his visiting nurse Yvonne Chavez. Your compassion and care for our husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend are greatly appreciated.
Re-reading the article got me reflecting on my time so far in the world of property. When I started out, I believed that it was all about bricks, mortar and deals. It didn’t take me long to realise that it is actually all about the people and the relationships you build with them.Winning a Britain’s Top Employer award is a sought-after accolade, and KFC has picked up this year’s honour, but for me it is not just about the people on the payroll, but also the fantastic consultants who feel like family and have worked with us for years. In fact, because we’re a tight team, our decision-making is very fast.We listen closely to our external customers, from individual small siteowners, through to major developers, landlords and funds.Need for flexibilityIt quickly became apparent to me that a willingness to listen, take a flexible approach and enter into straightforward and open negotiation is essential to success in this industry. Every deal has to work for all parties involved, and doing so makes it far easier to recruit new customers who want repeat business.When it comes to our buildings, we of course have an ideal design (2,650 sq ft). Despite this, non-standard seems to prevail, and I am increasingly of the view that a standardised modular approach works against the need for creativity and flexibility.For example, converting car showrooms, Victorian listed banks, and even one of our franchisees converting and super-insulating an Art Deco listed gatehouse (complete with air-raid shelter), requires much more creativity than a one-size-fits-all modular approach.Take the situation of landowners.While we prefer to buy freeholds where possible, this is not always achievable, so we have to be prepared to meet the different needs and circumstances of the owners from site to site. Whether these are big institutions focused on strategic asset planning, or the very small landowners or individuals who lack the resources to build, I strongly believe it is only by getting to know their world that the best outcomes can be achieved.In one example, a wealthy individual requires a no-fuss Retail Prices Index (RPI) lease to guarantee his retirement fund against inflationary pressures. Risk reduction and speed is his priority, together with our covenant strength. He’ll offset the site clean-up against his income for tax purposes and we’ll do the rest. It’s all about listening to people and being prepared to be flexible. Adapting to their funding, long-term strategy and taxation circumstances is crucially important.Of course, it is not just about us being flexible and creative — we also need a similar approach from planners. This leads me back to finding ways to address the frustrations voiced in my last column, and the recent encouragement I am feeling due to the increasing pragmatism of officers and councillors.Drive-through planning applications are rarely straightforward, but we recently obtained delegated consent on a pub site in Derby, where the employment, job creation, investment and regeneration benefits have all been recognised. We are currently demolishing an asbestos-riddled 1960s office in Birmingham — again delegated planning approval granted.I strongly believe that where all parties can engage openly and set out needs clearly so solutions can be found, rather than being too clever or point-scoring, we can cover so much more ground. With good relationships between all stakeholders and a positive attitude, challenging planning and development situations may be resolved much more effectively and creatively, for the benefit of all.Paula MacKenzie is chief financial and development officer at Yum! Restaurants International, owner of KFC
How Meghan Markle Looks Without Makeup Is Tough To Handle Image source: Getty Images.Seniors on Social Security need reliefMany seniors who collect Social Security get the bulk of their retirement income from their benefits. For the average recipient, that amounts to an annual income of just over $18,000. As if that weren’t bad enough, Social Security raises have been stingy in recent years. Seniors only got a 1.6% boost going into 2020, and generally speaking, COLAs have done a poor job of helping beneficiaries retain their buying power in the face of inflation.Rising healthcare costs in particular have been burdensome for seniors, with Medicare Part B premiums jumping from year to year and eating away at COLAs. Throw in the upheaval the coronavirus pandemic has caused, and it’s clear that seniors need extra relief right now, not an almost meaningless 1.3% raise.Though COLAs have averaged 1.4% over the past 10 years, between 1999 and 2009, they averaged 3%. That’s more in line with the typical cost-of-living raises workers are generally privy to.Of course, this speaks to a greater issue: the way Social Security COLAs are calculated in the first place. They’re determined based on third-quarter data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which measures changes in the cost of common goods and services. firstname.lastname@example.org (Maurie Backman) Posted: October 15, 2020 2:36 PM Updated: October 17, 2020 2:47 PM Earlier this week, the news broke that seniors on Social Security will be in line for a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) going into 2021. Earlier in the year, it seemed as if seniors wouldn’t be eligible for a raise at all, so the fact that they’re getting a bump in benefits is technically a good thing.But a 1.3% raise is hardly much to write home about. For the typical beneficiary today, it will amount to less than $20 extra per month, and that assumes that Medicare Part B premiums will hold steady going into 2021, which is unlikely to happen. As such, a 1.3% COLA could translate into a negligible boost for seniors who are already desperate for money, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.It’s for this very reason that two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and John Larson of Connecticut, are aiming to introduce a bill to raise next year’s 1.3% COLA to a 3% emergency boost instead. The bill, called the Emergency Social Security COLA for 2021 Act, is scheduled to be introduced on Friday, and if it’s passed into law, it could be a huge lifeline for seniors who are currently struggling to make ends meet. Sponsored Content But critics of this long-standing system argue that the CPI-W doesn’t reflect the costs that commonly monopolize seniors’ income, like healthcare. Both DeFazio and Larson each have previously proposed using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, or CPI-E, to calculate COLAs, since that index would constitute a more appropriate measure.If the proposed 3% emergency COLA isn’t passed, seniors are apt to have a difficult time staying afloat financially in 2021. And at a time when the economy is in shambles and a recovery seems a long way off, that’s a dangerous prospect.The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlookIf you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Top Videos Lawmakers Propose Emergency 3% Social Security Raise October 15, 2020 2:36 PM By Doctor Report
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Good grief. When Obiter dangled a prize for tales of sexism in the legal sector (21 January), we thought we would be taking a walk to the dusty far end of memory lane. However some of your horror stories were horribly recent – so much so that identities are being withheld. Like that of the (male) partner who observed: ‘There are two sorts of women solicitors, pretty ones who don’t know how to do the job, and ugly ones who do.’ Or the one who greeted a poorly female colleague with the words ‘You up the duff?’. Against those, the senior partner who sent home a temp because she was wearing trousers sounds almost charming. (But not quite.) We also heard a lovely tale from a keen young starter who accompanied a partner at a City firm to lunch with a client at his club. ‘I was introduced to the clients, then deposited in the lounge with a newspaper and told that they would collect me in about half an hour. I must have looked bemused as it was only then that the partner explained that women weren’t allowed in the bar. I was therefore to sit and wait while they enjoyed a pre-lunch drink – which, being newly qualified and keen to make an impression – I duly did. ‘Eventually they reappeared and we went into lunch. Having covered off the areas they were interested in, lunch was brought to a sharp close only for the clients to retreat back to the bar from which I was banned, along with the partner who suggested that he would see me back at the office. My first and last insight into a gentleman’s club!’ In truth, this was back in 1986, which must have been the swansong of boozy City lunches. Or was it? There’s no historical excuse for our winner, however. ‘When discussing with the firm’s principal whether or not I should qualify as a police station rep he told me to “go home and ask your husband, he might not like it”. The year was 2009 and I was (slightly) over 40 years old.’ Many thanks to A Solicitor in Suffolk, who wins a pair of tickets to the Finborough Theatre’s revival of London Wall.
More than 400 members of the legal community pounded the streets of Manchester this week for the annual legal walk.Organisers report they have already raised £14,000 for the North West Legal Support Trust, with more expected to come in over the next few days.Participants walked 10km in total before ending the event with a drink at the Chamber of Commerce, courtesy of the University of Law Manchester.The NWLST supports free legal advice centres which provide access to justice for the most vulnerable people in society.Photography: David McLenachan
GERMAN Railway is taking up more options for locomotives and regional tilting trains.Most significant is a decision to exercise an option with Adtranz for 400 main line electric locos of Class 145. The main customer will be DB Cargo with 300 units; some of these may be built as two or three-system units for operation in neighbouring countries. The rest will go to DB Regio, and some are likely to be designated as Class 146 with a top speed of 160 rather than 140 km/h.On March 10 DB announced that it will take up an option with Adtranz for 104 more Class VT612 diesel tilting trainsets. Some will be owned by DB’s long-distance passenger service subsidiary DB Reise & Touristik and will be equipped to run into Denmark. The first Class 612 sets in the original order are due to be delivered this summer.A few days earlier, on February 27, Adtranz rolled out at Hennigsdorf the first of 40 articulated four-car Class ET424 units for DB’s Hannover S-Bahn electrified at 15 kV 16 2??3Hz (right). A further 156 similar sets are under construction by a consortium of Adtranz, Siemens and Deutsche Waggonbau AG, now owned by Bombardier. Class 424 has light alloy bodies with a floor height along most of the car of only 760mm over rail top to give same-level boarding from S-Bahn station platforms.DB’s first Talent unit built by Bombardier Talbot (p244) was formally handed over in Aachen on March 13. o