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Automatic gearbox introduced for Ford Transit RWD

first_imgFord has introduced a 10-speed automatic gearbox (pictured) for rear wheel drive Transit models that are powered by the latest 170bhp 2.0-litre EcoBlue HDT diesel engine. That includes 15- and 18-seat factory-built minibuses at GVWs of up to 4,600kg.The manufacturer says the automatic gearbox’s efficiency and durability make it a viable choice for operators mindful of total cost of ownership and downtime. It works alongside engine stop-start technology and has been designed for challenging applications.Ford add that the automatic gearbox’s 10 ratios allow the engine to consistently operate close to its peak efficiency. Adaptive shift scheduling gives optimum gear selection. The gearbox also delivers a generous towing allowance, with a GTW of 6,100kg permitted.A patented low-viscosity transmission fluid minimises internal friction in the unit to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce component wear.Factory-built Transit minibuses with the 10-speed automatic gearbox will be available to accredited converters through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier programme.Supplier David Fishwick says it will order factory-built Ford Transit minibuses with the automatic gearbox for use as stock for its range of subsequently converted, upgraded or adapted models. Fishwick expects the automatic to be popular. It anticipates that September will be when the first converted examples are ready for delivery.last_img read more

Foundation hopes to enhance IOTA rates

first_img Nov 10, 2020 By Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Top Stories Foundation hopes to enhance IOTA rates A proposed Bar rule amendment to set a required interest rate for lawyer IOTA accounts is being worked on by The Florida Bar Foundation and the Bar Board of Governors Disciplinary Procedure Committee.The proposal could boost IOTA revenues by around $9 million and would be badly needed as the Foundation Board of Directors, at its November 6 meeting, approved a dramatically scaled back framework for its grants in the 2020-21 fiscal year.Jody Hudgins, who is both a public member of the Board of Governors and a Foundation Board of Directors member, said he met with the DPC at its October meeting to discuss the idea. He also said it is supported by the Trial Lawyers Section.“In essence, what the revised language to [Bar] Rule 5 would do is index the rate financial institutions — banks and credit unions — pay on IOTA accounts to no less than 300 basis points below the Wall Street Journal prime rate,” said Hudgins, who is a banker.He said the Wall Street Journal prime rate is basically the prime rate used by banks for their financial transactions.Last week, the WSJ prime rate was 3.25%, or 325 basis points. Under the proposal, that would require financial institutions to pay 25 basis points, or 0.25%, on IOTA trust accounts.According to Hudgins, who chairs the Foundation’s IOTA Enhancement Committee, the average paid, which can vary between institutions, on Florida IOTA accounts currently is 11 basis points.“If we were at that [WSJ prime rate] basis today, we would have about a $9 million increase in income,” Hudgins said.He said the committee is trying to find a rate that is fair to the banking industry while still enhancing IOTA revenues, and that his colleagues in the banking industry have told him the proposed rate would be reasonable.He said DPC members, including Chair Ron Ponzoli, were receptive to the proposal. He said the DPC will take the issue up again when it meets in December.Overall, Hudgins said there is about $6.5 billion in around 35,000 IOTA trust accounts maintained by Florida lawyers, and about 110 banking institutions participate in the IOTA program.Not long after Hudgins reported, board member and administrative law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk presented — and the board approved — the Foundation Grant Committee’s Grant Funding Scenario, which sets the parameters for next year’s grants to legal aid and other providers.While in 2019-20, the Foundation awarded almost $14 million in grants, for 2020-21, that is expected to decline to $8.6 million.More than $3.5 million of that decline is because the Foundation used this year a one-time award from a U.S. Middle District of Florida case directed to provide representation for low-income clients. The rest of the reduction is because of falling IOTA revenues caused by declining interest rates.The biggest cut will come in the Foundation’s largest program, community economic development grants. Those will go from $6.4 million, which was distributed to 25 different legal aid programs, to $2 million. Administration of justice grants will go from $782,328 to $500,000 and pro bono transformation and innovation grants will go from $387,500 to zero.The Foundation also plans to end funding for statewide training programs, its Equal Justice Works Fellowships, and its Summer Fellows program. Those totaled just over $500,000 this year.The board approved Van Wyk’s recommendation that rather than have legal aid organizations go through the entire grant applications process with time-consuming Foundation staff reviews for the drastically reduced community economic development grants, that staff should meet with legal aid agencies and recommend extending the most effective and efficient current programs.The plan, though, does call for earmarking almost $4 million for a new category: COVID-19 relief programs.Foundation Executive Director Donny MacKenzie said legal aid offices will be hard hit, and just as the pandemic spikes the demand for their services.“The grantees are reporting to me in general they have money for this year…but next year is going to be a disaster,” he said. “Candidly, the tsunami [of cases] that we expected in July and August has not started but we can hear the noises. It’s going to be in full swing in January and February….With possible changes coming to the IOTA program from recommendations from a special task force, “We have to find additional sources of [non-IOTA] funding, that is job one,” MacKenzie said. “We also have to find ways to enhance the IOTA funds.”last_img read more

New-age stats taking hold in college baseball

first_imgNew-age stats taking hold in college baseballOver the past three decades, baseball has gone through a statistical revolution, with more advanced formulas surfacing and more people paying attention to them. And college baseball is following suit.July 16, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintFor most of baseball history, stats have been easy to follow.See a table of Minnesota’s baseball statsA good hitter has a batting average around .300 and a good pitcher has an earned run average under 3.00.But over the past three decades, the sport has gone through a statistical revolution, with more advanced formulas surfacing and more people paying attention to them.These stats, usually referred to as “sabermetrics,” named after the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR), have begun to take hold in the college game, too. Web sites like, and are part of a growing contingent of outlets using sabermetrics to analyze college baseball.“We’re looking at advanced college stats as a helpful tool,” said Frankie Piliere, editor of “More and more it’s becoming something we look at.”Gophers head baseball coach John Anderson said his staff charts everything from pitch and hit location to the number of well-hit balls a player hits in batting practice.Those numbers are put into a computer each week, and Anderson’s players are given a printout of the stats and charts that they can’t find in box scores.“The statistical information today is just so comprehensive that we can do so much more with it,” Anderson said. “We have a computer program that tells you a guy’s averages with runners in scoring position, or right versus left, and anything else you can think of. It gives you better evidence than we’ve had before of how people are doing.”In 1977 , a 28-year-old writer named Bill James wrote “The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract ,” in which he introduced some of his new mathematic baseball ideas. James, who coined the term “sabermetrics,” has been the movement’s biggest catalyst ever since, developing most of the popular sabermetric stats in use today.Sabermetrics were brought further into the mainstream by Michael Lewis’s 2004 bestselling book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” which chronicled a season with Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane, a protégé of James’.In 2003, James was hired as a consultant for the Boston Red Sox, who have since won a pair of World Series.Despite the growing popularity of more advanced stats among bloggers and hardcore fans, these stats – particularly the ones with complex acronyms and formulas – have been slower to catch on with most mainstream media outlets and teams. “I think they’ve had a tough time catching on at the college level because not everybody has access to all the numbers like they do in the majors,” Brian Foley, editor of, said.The one stat that has broken the barrier is the James-developed OPS, which stands for “On base Plus Slugging percentage.” OPS is referenced in many newspapers and is an official statistic kept by the Major League Baseball.While batting average only looks at the number of hits a player gets, OPS rewards home runs more than singles and also recognizes walks.For example, Gophers centerfielder Matt Nohelty’s .397 batting average led the team by a wide margin, but he is fourth on the team in OPS because 82 of his 94 hits were singles.It goes to reason, according to sabermetric proponents, that players who hit doubles, triples and home runs are more valuable than players who hit singles, and that players who walk more should also be recognized.“Personally, I think OPS is hands down the best value,” Foley said. “We’re finding that things like ‘average’ just isn’t a good indicator of a player’s production.”But not all sabermetrics are as easy to calculate.Runs created, also developed by James, uses a more complex formula to determine how many runs a team would score if the entire lineup was made up of a single hitter. For example, the stat predicts that if the Gophers had nine DeSmidts in their lineup, they would average more than 11 runs per game. With nine John Hummel’s, they would average 2.5.Even more complex is one of the most common sabermetrics for pitching – Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP. The idea behind FIP is that a pitcher can only truly control three things: homeruns, strikeouts and outs. All other balls in play rely on the defense to get an out.FIP numbers are adjusted to be in line with the commonly used Earned Run Average, or how many earned runs a pitcher gives up per nine innings, so that a pitcher whose FIP was dramatically lower than his ERA was, in theory, hurt by his team’s defense. Gophers reliever Scott Matyas had a 4.45 ERA this season, but a FIP of just 2.64.“We keep doing more and more with it, and it’s becoming a big part of our program,” Anderson said. “I can remember doing it with a paper and pencil and calculator. It’s just unbelievable the stuff you can do today with technology.“And it’s like we always say, the numbers don’t lie.”last_img read more

How Showing Special Kindness To Some Can Have Moral Consequences

first_imgSTEVE INSKEEP, HOST: MATTHEWS: There are people who are dying. And one of them needs a kidney. And this will go to one of them. VEDANTAM: Many people find this moral dilemma painful but will tell you, yes. Killing one stranger is the right thing to do if it will save five. There’s a version of the trolley problem that’s even more painful. It forces us to reckon with the bias that we usually don’t see as a problem, the bias to care about the people we love above all others. SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Thought experiments in philosophy usually don’t go viral, but there’s one that has. VEDANTAM: Concrete because Matthews had decided to donate one of his kidneys to a stranger. His logic was straightforward. GREENE: When it comes to the ethics of everyday life, the basic things that everybody should know not to do – the lying, stealing, cheating kinds of things – we want to have automatic settings that just say, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, can’t do that. VEDANTAM: And Matthews? When we talk about discrimination, we typically think of people denied something because of who they are, some defining trait. What we can overlook is a different kind of discrimination, which comes from love. NPR’s Shankar Vedantam asks why good deeds, those we do on behalf of our spouses or our neighbors, can sometimes lead to injustice. GROCH-BEGLEY: (Laughter). Very often, like Groch-Begley, we prioritize caring for the people we know. Other times like, Matthews, we try to be impartial. Joshua Greene, the psychologist, compares these different types of moral reasoning to settings on a camera. Our default response, to prioritize the people we know well, is like a camera’s automatic settings. In this version of the thought experiment, five strangers will be saved if you sacrifice someone you know and love, maybe even your own child. Hannah Groch-Begley and Dylan Matthews have discussed this moral dilemma in their relationship. They’ve come to very different conclusions. VEDANTAM: Each of these modes has benefits. The automatic mode, both on a camera and in our minds, is efficient. DYLAN MATTHEWS: I would kill the kid. Yeah. I wouldn’t even question it. Like, it’s five against one. I would probably kill myself after out of grief. And so it would be five against two. But, yeah, those people are all the heroes of their own stories. And they all have loved ones who love them as much as I love the kid. And it seems obscene to me to treat my attachment as paramount above their attachments and their lives. VEDANTAM: Matthews went ahead with the surgery. Afterward, the National Kidney Registry honored him with a trophy. GREENE: So if I want to take a picture of a mountain from a mile away, then I put it in landscape setting and click, point and shoot. And I’ve got a pretty good picture of a mountain from far away. Occasionally, I get ambitious and will want to do something fancy and maybe have something slightly out of focus and off to the side. And who knows, right? And so there, you’d put the camera in manual mode. GROCH-BEGLEY: Which I thought was wild and insane. And I was raised to really think about the person who’s in front of you, your family members, to think about your friends and to think about, how can I put them first? How can I always be there for them? VEDANTAM: To Matthews, not giving away his kidney was like hoarding food he’d never eat while others were hungry. Groch-Begley saw it very differently. GREENE: The trolley is headed towards five people. But you can hit a switch that will turn it onto a side track where it’ll only kill one person. The question is, is it OK to hit the switch to minimize the loss of life? MATTHEWS: It’s hefty. It’s one of the better obelisks I’ve received in my life. VEDANTAM: Greene has researched how people respond to the trolley problem. Here’s the classic version of the thought experiment. GROCH-BEGLEY: I think that it became more difficult for me when it became more concrete. GROCH-BEGLEY: There were moments when I was very scared that this person who I was starting to love was going to potentially put themselves in a great deal of danger. It is a very safe procedure. But I’m not a doctor. So you tell me, oh, you’re going to remove a major organ – elective surgery, like, I don’t understand why you would do that. VEDANTAM: For Groch-Begley and Matthews, this may have started as an intellectual debate. But their different moral frameworks guide important decisions, like where to donate their money or whether to give up a kidney. And those decisions affect the lives of other people. All of us grapple with similar moral questions whether we recognize it or not. GREENE: I’m a professor in the psychology department at Harvard University. And I study moral decision-making and high-level cognition. JOSHUA GREENE: The trolley problem has become a kind of meme. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST) HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY: I would save the child. I would easily kill five people on behalf of my own child. I know that. And I’m not a mother. I just know that that’s the kind of mother I would be. VEDANTAM: Their differences in opinion became an energizing force until about six months into their relationship. VEDANTAM: This is Joshua Greene. VEDANTAM: The differences in the couple’s moral intuitions became clear even on their very first date in 2015. That night at a bar in Washington, D.C., their flirting took the form of a debate over moral philosophy. Matthews explained that he believed in maximizing happiness in the world. That requires treating everyone’s happiness as equally important, whether that person happens to live on your block or on the other side of the world. … Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

New Mexico State Police: Working To Keep Citizens Safe During COVID-19 Outbreak

first_imgState Police requests public and businesses to comply with Emergency Public Health Order. Courtesy/NMSPNMSP News:New Mexico State Police requests the help of the public and New Mexico businesses in complying with the Emergency Public Health Order.The Order requires all non-essential businesses to stop operating, and State Police, in conjunction with local law enforcement, will ensure that businesses adhere to its directives.We believe the great majority of businesses will continue to voluntarily comply in the interest of public safety. However, in the event businesses are not compliant, officers will educate the non-compliant establishment about the requirements of the order and allow them a reasonable opportunity to adapt. We anticipate many businesses will voluntarily comply in the interest of protecting public health, state law addressing the public health order grants the State Police the authority to take action when necessary. Businesses who remain non-compliant may face civil fines or criminal charges.  The public health order also states that mass gatherings of more than five individuals are prohibited at this time.If you wish to report non-compliance within a business, a violation of the mass gatherings ban, or other violations of the public order, you may report them to [email protected] or contact our non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at (833).551.0518, Option 2 or contact your police or sheriff’s department on their non-emergency phone lines. When submitting a non-compliance complaint via email, please provide the following: date and time of observed violation, city, county, business name and business address.New Mexico State Police understands New Mexicans are being adversely affected by this crisis on many levels – from adjustments in daily routines to losing sleep over financial and health concerns. State Police officers and their families share many of the same worries.  “We realize this is a very stressful and uncertain time, but as a community and state we will get through this,” said Chief Tim Johnson. “The core mission of the New Mexico State Police is to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of New Mexico, and we are committed to doing just that by ensuring New Mexicans adhere to this public health emergency order.” The public health emergency order may be viewed here.last_img read more

The 2006 RICS and Macdonald & Company salary and benefits survey

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Brewer Picks Up Second-Consecutive GSC Player of the Week Honor

first_img Print Friendly Version Brewer averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists with two double-doubles at Valdosta State and at home against Montevallo last Thursday and Saturday. The Huntsville, Alabama native became UWF’s career rebound leader at VSU, surpassing former teammate Katie Bobos’ 1.006 total. Brewer now has 1,021 and ranks just outside the GSC all-time top 10 in 12th place. Brewer currently leads the GSC and ranks seconds nationally with 10 double-doubles. She is eighth in the country with 11.8 rebounds per game and is 71st in scoring at 17.2 points per game. That is also second in the GSC. BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– UWF senior women’s basketball standout Toni Brewer was named the Gulf South Conference Player of the Week by the league office on Tuesday, picking up the honor for the second-consecutive week.center_img UWF (10-3, 4-2) will return to action this week with a road swing through the Mississippi schools, beginning Thursday at Delta State (9-4, 4-1). Tip-off at Sillers Coliseum is at 5:30 p.m. This is her second weekly award of the season and the tenth of her career.last_img read more

Quincy Abeyie Joins Black Stars Camp

first_imgMidfielder Quincy Owusu-Abeyie arrived in Ghana’s camp on Wednesday morning ahead of preparations to face Sudan in a final Nations Cup qualifier.The Panathinaikos ace was expected in camp on Monday night but missed his flight.The former Arsenal forward has been handed an international lifeline by Serb Goran Stevanovic who has recalled him into the squad for the first time since November last year.He joined the Greek giants this summer on loan from Qatari side Al Sadd.Abeyie will take part in the team’s second training session at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.He becomes the 22nd player to report to camp.last_img read more

Picnic racing at Woolamai

first_imgBy Gavin Stubbs An atmosphere of anticipation surrounds the historic Woolamai and District Race Club as the first of six…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img