GALLERY: Pacio, Naito face off ahead of ONE: Conquest of Heroes

first_imgAllen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Filipino bet Jomary Torres also faced off with her Indonesia foe Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol, who will be backed by the hometown crowd on fight night.The athletes faced the local and Filipino media at Jakarta Muay Thai camp during the open workout on Thursday and showed them a glimpse of their training.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHere are some photos from the event:Yoshitaki Naito and Joshua Pacio.Yoshitaki Naito and Joshua Pacio.Athletes during the open workout at Jakarta Muay Thai.Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol and Jomary Torres.Stefer Rahardian and Peng Xue Wen. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Madrid fans with a lot to celebrate, including a new No. 7 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crowncenter_img View comments Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college JAKARTA—Joshua Pacio and Yoshitaka Naito faced off one last time before their world title fight on Saturday in ONE: Conquest of Heroes at Jakarta Convention Center here.Naito is looking to defend his ONE Strawweight World title from the determined Pacio, who is riding an impressive three-fight streak and is hungry to finally get the belt.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READlast_img read more

Stolen items, ganja, cocaine unearthed during Police operations in Berbice

first_imgAt least five people were arrested on Wednesday during Police operations in East Canje and New Amsterdam which unearthed cocaine, ganja and stolen items.Based on reports received, members of the Police Narcotics Branch and B (Berbice) Division conducted a four-hour cordon-and-search operation in several villages.During the search at Sheet Anchor Village, East Canje, a businessman was arrested after 313 grams of cannabis was found in his possession. In addition, a house was searched at St John’s Street, New Amsterdam, where 377g of cannabis, along with 15g of cocaine, was found. Three males have been arrested.The items that were unearthed during the Police operations in BerbiceFinally, a male resident of Howard’s Alley, New Amsterdam was arrested after a search of his premises revealed a quantity of suspected stolen items and several suspected fake business stamps and a passport.The operations were spearheaded by a Senior Superintendent and involved 20 other ranks. The suspects are being processed for court, before the end of the week.last_img read more

Guyoil halts credit arrangement with Region 6 Admin

first_img…regional vehicles groundedVehicles attached to various Government departments in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) have been grounded by a lack of fuel.Region Six Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop explained that the administration has been recalcitrant in paying for fuel supplied, and the supplier has consequently pulled the plug.Regional Vice Chairman Dennis DeRoop“There is no fuel shortage, but Guyoil has stopped giving (Region 6) now because they have a big outstanding bill. This started to happen last year, and the oil company (stopped supplying) fuel; so all the important work has stopped (because) the engineers cannot go out in the fields…,” De Roop explained.He, however, noted that Guyoil continues to issue fuel to ambulances attached to Government hospitals.According to DeRoop, the administration has money to purchase fuel from Guyoil, but under the current arrangement, the fuel is supplied and then billed for, before payments are made.DeRoop explained that the administration is given a month’s holdover, and is expected to make payments for fuel in a timely manner; but has failed to so do, resulting in the company withholding issuance of fuel.However, while some departments are made to suffer as a result of what the vice chairman calls negligence, some Government vehicles have been exempted from that type of treatment.“We continue to see this negligence from top to bottom, and incompetence of persons put in a position to do a job. At the top level, we are seeing it; at the regional level, we are seeing it; all over, you are seeing the incompetence. They just don’t have the right people to do the job, and residents are suffering because of this,” the Vice Chairman said.He said this situation evolved last year when the fuel company refused to supply fuel until paid. He noted that January 2018 payment is outstanding; that should have been taken care of in February.“We have money budgeted, and it is just to do the transaction in a timely manner. I never experienced (this situation) prior to 2015. We had some issues last year, and the ambulances were given fuel even though the bill was not paid. The REO [Regional Executive Officer] sees it fit to focus on other things, when this is so important,” De Roop declared.The Vice Chairman noted that the David G buses will also be affected, forcing hundreds of children who depend on the school bus to find alternative ways to get to and from school.last_img read more

Improved safety works begin at Gweedore playground

first_imgThe play area in Gaoth Dobhair will undergo an update this week to add extra safety precautions for local children.A new soft play surface will be added to the playground in an update which was fundraised by council officials and residents.The community effort has been welcomed by Cllr. Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, who said the works today are an encouraging step. Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said the park will be closed this week and should be opened again by the weekend. He thanked everyone who was involved in the initiative, including the fundraisers and those carrying out the updates.Improved safety works begin at Gweedore playground was last modified: November 6th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Cllr Michael Mac Giolla EasbuigGaoth DobhairGweedoreplaygroundlast_img read more

Agriculture minister warned EU-South American could be catastrophic for farmers

first_imgThe Agriculture Minister has been urged to ensure that Irish farmers interests are represented in Europe. Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McConalogue has called on him to oppose any ratification of the Mercosur deal due to the fact the full impact of Brexit has not yet emerged.He was responding to the announcement that negotiators from the European Union and the South American Mercosur trading block have agreed on a trade deal. Deputy McConalogue commented: “This deal has taken almost 20 years to negotiate and Irish farmers have opposed the proposals in it every step of the way. The deal has always had the potential to damage Irish farming but combined with the possible loss of trade in the British market as a result of Brexit, Mercosur could prove catastrophic.“This deal will see 99,000 tonnes of South American beef allowed into the European market every year. This will have a huge impact on prices, at a time when beef farmers here are already to the pin of their collars.“This deal will also have a detrimental impact on the environment. It seems ironic that on the one hand the government and the EU talks about reducing our carbon footprint to mitigate climate change, while on the other they have no issue with flying South American beef thousands of kilometres into Europe.“Minister Creed knows that this is a bad deal for Ireland. He must engage with his European counterparts to ensure that there is no decision to ratify this deal given that we do not know what the full impact of Brexit will be. We export around 270,000 tonnes of beef to the UK every year, will our farmers now have to compete with cheap South American imports in a post-Brexit scenario? “This is an exceptionally volatile period and I believe the EU should not take any decisions on this deal until the full post-Brexit scenario is known”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.Agriculture minister warned EU-South American could be catastrophic for farmers was last modified: June 29th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Debunking South Africa’s myth of violent crime

first_imgA lot of people think violent crime in South Africa began rising in 1994 and has continued to rise since then. They are wrong.A new book, which traces national murder rates of over a century, shows that the past two decades have shown unprecedented improvement in the physical safety of the vast majority of people in the country. (Image: ENCA)Anine Kriegler and Mark ShawGiven the weight people place on crime as an indicator of national health in South Africa, there is an urgent need to demystify crime trends.A lot of people think violent crime in South Africa began rising in 1994 and has continued to rise since then. They are wrong. A new book, which traces national murder rates of over a century, shows that the past two decades have shown unprecedented improvement in the physical safety of the vast majority of people in the country.For many South Africans, concerns about crime stand in for bigger concerns aboutreconciliation, the fabric of social life and the future success of the post-apartheid state.Click image for a larger view.Imperfect crime statisticsOfficial statistics are an imperfect measure of crime. This is because a range of factors determine whether a given incident will be identified as criminal, reported to or detected by the police, and correctly recorded in the official statistics. These factors can all change. This makes it difficult to compare crime rates between different places and times.The typical way to go around the problem is to focus on murder. Surveys suggest that a large and variable proportion of crimes as diverse as rape and theft never make it into the official statistics, but a large and stable proportion of murders do.Dead bodies are hard to hide, dispute or ignore. This makes murder rates the dominant unit of criminological comparison.A key advantage of murder rates is that they can be corroborated by mortuary records. In South Africa, comparing these sources suggests that a relatively small and probably shrinking proportion of suspected murder is failing to make it into the police figures. There is no good reason to reject South Africa’s official murder statistics as a solid basis for comparison.A national history of murderIn our book, A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Trends in South Africa, we combed through archives to put together all the official South African murder figures we could find since 1911. We also worked out the most likely population size within the official police jurisdiction for each year. This made it possible to track the annual murder rate per 100 000 people in the population for more than a century. The older the figures are, the more likely they are to be an under-count.The murder rate did not begin rising in 1994 – exactly the opposite. There was a steady increase to the 1950s, a slightly more rapid rise to the 1960s, some years of relative stability, and then a massive spike to a peak in 1993. Then things turned around.From 1994 onwards, the murder rate fell by an average of 4% a year. Raw figures dropped from about 74 murders a day in 1994 to 49 a day in 2015, despite a population grown by about 40%.Internationally, trends this dramatic are rare and attract major research and theoretical attention. No one has yet noted or done much to investigate it in South Africa.Murder rates today are not higher than ever. They have returned to about where they were in the 1970s.About 20% of the spike from the 1980s has been estimated to be directly attributable to political conflict. Periods of political and social upheaval tend to raise rates of all crimes, not just political ones. Recorded rates of other crimes like robbery and rape rose rapidly at the same time as murder did.Good news and bad newsThe strong downward trend after 1994 is confirmed in mortuary records and in crime victimisation surveys. These surveys also show that rates of non-fatal assault (including common assault, serious assault and attempted murder) dropped by similar margins. Fear of crime remains high and there do seem to have been increases in a number of types of robbery, so not all forms of violence have declined.However, the evidence suggests that people in South Africa are about half as likely to be physically assaulted or killed today as they were 20 years ago. This is good news.The graph also reveals some possible bad news. The downward trend in the murder rate seems to be slowing or even reversing as of 2012. Much of this is driven by a huge increase in violence in the City of Cape Town, but other cities have also seen slight increases in the past three years. This may imply that there are new dynamics driving violence up for the first time in the life of the “new” South Africa. The widely-held assumption that murder rates have been going up all the while is not only incorrect, but it may be blinding us to the new problem that needs our attention.And the sobering fact remains that South Africa has very high levels of fatal violence. Its17 805 murders recorded last year in a population of a little under 55 million make for a murder rate of 33 per 100 000. This compares very poorly, at about five times the global average.About the authorsAnine Kriegler is a researcher with the Institute for Safety Governance in the Global South at the University of Cape Town. She holds Master’s degrees from both UCT and Cambridge University, and is a Doctoral candidate in Criminology. Her research interests include the measurement of crime and victimisation, and drug markets.Mark Shaw is the Director of the Institute for Safety Governance in the Global South. He holds the NRF Chair in African Justice and Security and is the Director of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. He worked for 12 years at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. His research focuses on illicit markets and organised crime.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

First-time winners in Berg Marathon

first_img16 July 2013After four days and 240 kilometres of paddling, Lance King claimed his maiden win in South Africa’s Berg River Canoe Marathon, while Jenna Ward picked up her first win in the women’s race in Velddrif in the Western Cape on Sunday.Nerves were rife ahead of the final stage’s commencement as a last minute decision forced paddlers to take a three-kilometre portage around a water hyacinth block shortly after the start of the stage, leaving most unsure of what to expect and how the action would unfold.Pierre-Andre Rabie led the charge and gained an important lead after the run, enough for him to take a memorable stage victory and fourth place overall.Graeme Solomon was unable to match Lance King, who finished third on the day after leading overnight, forcing Solomon to settle for second place overall, while under-23 star Ivan Kruger claimed the final step on the podium.‘Seven years in the making’“I’m just really excited right now,” said King afterwards. “It’s been seven years in the making, so it’s a very special moment for me.“The reality hit me with about 10 kilometres to go and, thankfully, it was the quickest final 10 kilometres of my life to the finish line.“It’s been a different kind of Berg,” he continued. “We’ve never done a Berg with a three kilometre portage before, so I’m just glad I was the stronger man on the day and was able to stay with the guys at the front.“After the portage there were four of us together and that’s when we decided to put the hammer down. We tried to see if we could get Ivan (Kruger) up to second, but we lost it a bit at the end, so then I just enjoyed the moment.Second bunchA disappointed yet gracious Solomon crossed the finish line in the stage’s second bunch of four with Louw van Riet, Edgar Boehm Jnr. and Ben Brown to claim yet another Berg podium finish.“Ben (Brown) and I had a terrible take-out at the portage and sunk almost up to our neck in mud. By the time we got going again the others were gone and I knew then that that was that,” said Solomon.“The tree block on stage two was definitely the turning point, but no excuses now. Hats off to Lance for his win.“Well done to Ivan as well. A while back I recognised his talent and said he’d be one to watch. He has all the tools to go on to win 10 Bergs in his career, so this is just the start for him,” he added.Under-23 starApart from his third place finish overall, Kruger also claimed the under-23 men’s category. However, it was his efforts in the senior competition that were particularly pleasing for the youngster.“I’d hoped to try close the gap to Graeme, but I’m still hugely happy with third. I had a horrible first day, which counted against me because it meant I was on my own the entire way on day two, but I felt strong these last two days and I’m happy to be on the podium,” said Kruger.“It’s been a big season for me. It’s been my jump season and the one where I’ve made my mark in the senior category, so this result is part of a good whole season for me.”Rabie’s stage four victory handed him a pleasing fourth place overall, while the fascinating battle between Van Riet and Boehm for fifth position and the final gold medal saw van Riet just do enough to hold off a charging Boehm at the finish.Crowd favouriteBrown claimed seventh while crowd favourite and father of nine-time race winner Hank McGregor, Lee McGregor narrowly hung onto eighth position despite Sbonelo Zondi’s final day’s charge in his first ever appearance at the race.“I was fine after day one and two, but I was sore yesterday morning and this morning I could hardly move,” said the 61-year-old after becoming the first over-50 year old to finish inside the top 10 at the event.“I got a SMS from Hank this morning, though, saying ‘I’m with you every metre of the way dad’ and that’s all that got me through today.”Women’s raceKZN under-23 talent Jenna Ward endured a nervy final stage, but hung on to claim the women’s title ahead of Kirsten Penderis and Joritha Prins.With nearly two minutes in the bag from her third stage efforts, Ward started the final day well with a remarkable performance on the three kilometre portage. The young star was, however, made to pay for her efforts midway through the stage as she watched Penderis destroy her three-and-a-half minute stage gap and had to work hard to stay with the Cape local in the dying stages of the race to hang onto victory.“Kirsten caught me at Drie Huisies and I knew I just had to give whatever I had left to stay with her and make sure she didn’t close the gap I got on her yesterday,” said Ward.‘Biggest moment’“Fortunately I was able to do so and the win is probably the biggest moment of my paddling career so far.”With Kruger having claimed the men’s under-23 title, the battle for second and third was left to Joseph Williams and Luke Stowman, with Williams claiming the runners-up position.Ward claimed the under-23 women’s title, while Computershare Change a Life Academy member Mthobisi Cele and under-16 paddler Anya Botes were the first junior boy and girl across the line respectively.RESULTSMENLance King 17:17.29Graeme Solomon 17:21.19Ivan Kruger (u-23) 17:30.03Pierre-Andre Rabie 17:37.34Louw van Riet 17:39.56Edgar Boehm Jnr. 17:40.03Ben Brown 17:42.55Lee McGregor 18:00.13Sbonelo Zondi 18:02.44Gavin White 18:09.15WOMENJenna Ward (u-23) 20:43.05Kirsten Penderis 20:45.01Joritha PrinsLisa Scott 22:49.18Juli Morris 22:54.40U-23 MenIvan Kruger 17:30.03Joseph Williams 18:38.39Luke Stowman 18:58.55U-23 WomenJenna Ward 20:43.05Junior BoysMthobisi Cele 19:12.37Michael Farringer 19:27.50Michael Pretorius 19:54.18Junior GirlsAnya Botes 23:23.53SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

2015 Ohio State Fair Grand Champion Market Lamb

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Bailee Amstutz of Union County was the exhibitor of the 2015 Ohio State Fair Grand Champion Market Lamb selected Wednesday night. Bailee’s lamb was the winner of the crossbred competition.last_img

As health insurance costs rise, more consider shared health programs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It is the time of year when thoughts turn to the joys of giving, family, and unfortunately in recent years, rising health insurance costs.Around Ohio, those who are self-employed or working at a small business are getting the news that their health insurance premiums will be getting another healthy increase for 2018. Ohioans purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act will see average premium increases of 34% in 2018, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance. In addition, the insurance policies might not cover certain providers and may have higher co-pays. There will also be a shorter period to enroll in plans this year in some cases with a deadline of Dec. 15, compared to last year’s enrollment deadline of Jan. 31.The growing health insurance frustration of many people in rural Ohio has them searching for other options, including Christian medical cost sharing programs. Michelle and Mitchell Stammen of Mercer County made the decision to switch after Michelle left a corporate job that gave their family of four very good insurance, and started working from home. Mitchell’s full-time occupation is operating the family’s grain and cattle farm.“Switching to something that is not considered health insurance is a huge decision, but we decided to take a leap of faith,” said Michelle Stammen. “Being Christians, there were many reasons we wanted to ditch the government-mandated healthcare system and to instead join a health cost sharing ministry. The main reason for us was that we did not want to continue paying ever-increasing prices to insurance companies who made us cover things like abortions and birth control pills.“After becoming self-employed in 2014-15, we transitioned from my employer’s health insurance to another insurance company who charged $850 per month with a $12,500 deductible for our family of four. We had received a notice towards the end of 2015 that the insurance company was going to raise the rate to $950 per month for the following year. It made us upset because we felt it was pointless to pay that much for ‘healthcare’ when we had no claims that year. We knew the high-deductible plan we opted into was for the purpose of covering a major medical problem, but on the other hand, we felt like we were just throwing all that money for our monthly premiums down the drain.”After lamenting about their situation to a fellow farmer, that friend introduced the Stammens to the health cost sharing community his family was a part of called Samaritan Ministries. The other farming family told the Stammens that they did not have insurance, however, their medical bills were paid through Samaritan Ministries.“This family of 12 was paying less than half of what we were going to be paying monthly to the insurance company in 2016,” Michelle said. “We are not a family who goes to the doctor very often because we do a lot of natural remedies and herbal treatments — which were not covered by insurance anyway — so at the end of 2015, we did some research and decided to cancel our health insurance.”With the cancellation of their insurance, the Stammens decided to become part of Samaritan Ministries, one of several Christian health sharing options available nation-wide. Unlike insurance, the focus of Samaritan Ministries is on helping others with their needs.“After talking to that other farming family and realizing how well it was working for them, we knew we had to look into it. We found out that there are many more Christian health sharing plans out there than we realized, and we were quickly overwhelmed. With the end of 2015 rapidly approaching, we knew we had to make our decision quickly. After reading though Samaritan’s Guidelines, it seemed like a good fit for us so we applied. Samaritan doesn’t cover dental or vision, but we were used to paying for that out of pocket anyways,” Stammen said. “The most fulfilling aspect of this ministry is knowing that your money is going directly to a family who needs help paying their medical bills. When you are a part of Samaritan Ministries, you are not sending your monthly check to an insurance company; rather, you send your check to someone with a real medical need, along with a note to let them know you are praying for them and thinking of them. The person in need has to provide a copy of their medical bill and Samaritan takes care of making sure the person’s need qualifies underneath the established guidelines.”The ministry serves as a hub for meeting members’ needs with funding from other members. For the Stammens, medical bills under $300 are paid out of their pocket. Needs greater than $300 are covered by Samaritan members.In a nutshell, Stammen said the sharing process is:1. A medical need begins. When a member has a health care need, they receive heath care treatment from a provider of their choice, collect the bills, and send them to Samaritan Ministries.2. Samaritan publishes the need. Samaritan Ministries verifies that the need meets the guidelines. Then, in the monthly newsletter mailing, Samaritan Ministries directs some members to send their shares to the member with the need.3. Shares are received. The member with the need receives the shares to pay health care bills along with prayer and notes of encouragement.So, every month, the Stammens send their check (that is around $500 for their family of five) to a fellow member in need as directed by the ministry. In part, the ministry is successful because members are strongly encouraged to seek cash discounts from medical providers for services. Similar discounts are fairly typical for health care providers when working with large insurance companies.“Samaritan members are encouraged to be vigilant in asking for cash discounts and negotiating prices of services. If a patient pays on the day of service, medical providers are often willing to give discounts. Our family doctor gives us a self-pay discount. If your family doctor does not give any discounts and you decide to switch to a health share ministry, you may want to find a doctor who does,” Stammen said. “They may just take off 20% of the bill just for paying upfront in cash.”It was not long into their membership when the Stammens found themselves in need.“Soon after being accepting into Samaritan in December 2015, we found out we were expecting. There was a lot to consider with a pregnancy. I called many hospitals within a 60-mile radius inquiring what the charges would be for prenatal care and baby delivery. I got a lot of run-around and phone transfers, because many hospitals only deal with negotiating prices with insurance companies and didn’t usually deal with a patient wanting to pay cash. It was a little confusing and took some patience and a couple hours of time, but I felt that if other Samaritan members were going to be paying for my medical bills, doing the homework was worth it to get the best price for everyone. I found that the preferable hospital, which was closest to me, only offered a 3% cash discount, while a facility 50 miles away offered a 55% cash discount. To me, the thousands of dollars I would be saving from choosing the facility further away was worth the extra drive time and gas,” Stammen said. “For maternity needs, there were many OB appointments leading up to the delivery. The way Samaritan handles maternity needs is that a new ‘need’ is started with information like the baby’s anticipated due date. I made payments to the provider out of our checking account. I documented every bill no matter how small and added it to the main maternity need. There were times that I submitted eight bills at once. When you have an ongoing need like this, you have the option of paying for some of it upfront instead of sending all of them to Samaritan first and waiting for the reimbursement checks to come in. During this time, you also still need to make your regular monthly share payments. As your personal bills add up, Samaritan keeps track of them and they take care of telling other members how much money to send you. Within a month or two, you start receiving checks from other people. You may get a $250 check from a single and then a $400 check from a family. Even if you get bills months after the baby is born, you keep submitting them onto that main maternity need until all the bills are finished. Our total maternity bill was $18,184 minus $7,640 for being self-pay, so we ended up paying $10,544, and Samaritan reimbursed us for all of it.”Looking back, the Stammens have been very pleased with their decision.“Not only have we saved thousands of dollars — $11,400 for insurance per year versus around $6,200 for the Samaritan Classic family price, which includes the Save-to-Share option for bills over $250,000 — we feel more fulfilled on a spiritual level by being able to help like-minded Christians share their medical bill burdens,” she said. “The community of believers comes together as one body to assist members in need.”Mitchell Stammen farms full time and health insurance was extremely costly for his family. Photo provided by Michelle Stammen.Another benefit of being part of these programs is that members are not penalized for not having insurance. Members need to complete IRS created Form 8965, which indicates what portion of the year they were a member of a health care sharing ministry. Health care sharing also satisfies the mandates of the federal Affordable Care Act.Participation in the ministry does come with requirements of a Christian faith and lifestyle.“Within the guidelines, they specifically mention that members agree to limit consumption of alcohol to moderate amounts and never drink to drunkenness, or cause another brother or sister in Christ to stumble,” Stammen said. “Members must be professing Christians who attend a Christian church regularly. They must agree to abstain from sinful practices such as drug abuse and sexual immorality. If you are in an accident because of drunkenness, you are unable to submit the bill. They must be accountable to a pastor or other Christian church leader for the needs they submit. To me, these are important morals to live by anyways, and we have no problem abiding by them.”There are numerous options available that can offer different advantages based on the specifics of different families and situations. A very helpful resource (though some of the numbers are outdated) comparing some of the options can be found here: http://www.cchfreedom.org/pr/MEDICAL_SHARING_MINISTRIES-COMPARISON_CHART.pdf.For many, health insurance may still the best option, but a growing number of people are looking into cost sharing health programs. There are many details to carefully consider, but for many families like the Stammens, health sharing has been a great fit.last_img read more

How much do you value your data?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field LeaderAsk an expert in the industry about the importance of calibrating yield monitors to collect harvest data and they will most likely tell you, “It’s about how much you value your data.” That was the response from Matt Liskai, owner of Green Field Ag in Gibsonburg, Ohio. Matt has been working with yield monitors and other precision agriculture equipment since they first came on the scene in the early 2000s.“Everyone has a different philosophy when it comes to calibrating their yield monitor for harvest data,” Liskai said. “Some calibrate their yield monitors once a season, and some will calibrate for every field or variety. It’s about the value you place on the data you are collecting and the decisions you will make with it. You need to ask yourself how important is it that the data you collect is accurate?”According to John Fulton, OSU Extension Specialist for Precision Ag, and Elizabeth Hawkins, OSU Extension Agronomic Systems Field Specialist, geo-referenced yield data (i.e. yield maps) are being used to provide precision agriculture insights and recommendations at the field level. Yield maps help growers understand end-of-year performance within fields, and can also be used to characterize in-field variation. Information about the variation is often used by service providers to deliver prescriptions, recommendations, or other information back to the farmer. Because yield maps continue to be an important source of information for making decisions, proper management of the yield monitor is critical to generate accurate and reliable yield data. Grain moisture and test weight, along with grain flow through the combine, will vary within passes and across fields. Therefore, the flow and moisture sensors on combines must be calibrated to these expected conditions in order to log accurate data.“It worked just fine when I put it in the shed after last season. Now it doesn’t work.” That is a phrase Liskai has heard many times.“Sometimes the problem is as simple as a 5 amp fuse,” Liskai said. “The moisture sensor has a fuse that can blow under certain conditions and prevent a reading. Another issue some guys run into is that the mapping and recording of data doesn’t start at the right time. This obviously can cause issues with the maps. It occurs because with many systems, the header height activates the acre counter. The header sensor may need adjusted to reflect the height you are cutting at, and when the counter should start.”He acknowledges that not all farmers are running combines with GPS for geo-referenced mapping. Some older machines with first generation yield monitors will base the data calculations on ground speed. On some machines, the wheel speed sensor may need calibrated if they are not using GPS.“Sometimes the issue is a combination of things, and it takes time to systematically check each component to find the issue,” Liskai said.Fulton and Hawkins provide several reasons to routinely calibrate yield monitors.It helps collect accurate yield estimates so yield variability across the field is accurately represented by the yield map; especially this growing season considering the expected field variability.It can be used to generate accurate prescriptions and profit maps based on your yield maps. The generation of variable-rate fertility and seeding maps are frequently based on yield maps with few services creating profit maps to evaluate areas of profit and loss.Yield maps have become a baseline data layer to assess management risks and the allocation of inputs. Precision agriculture practices have shown to provide feedback to improve profitability and helping confirm the best practices and input selections for a farm operation.Yield monitor best practices to use pre-harvest and during harvestBe sure to update firmware and/or software for the yield monitoring systems. If necessary, contact your equipment or technology service provider about available firmware updates and where they can be downloaded.Most yield monitors use a mass flow sensor at the top of the clean grain elevator. Due to the grain impact, the plate will wear to the point of developing a hole if it isn’t replaced soon enough. The wear that occurs changes the reading from the mass flow sensor. Be sure to replace the plate if wear is evident. Don’t neglect to recalibrate after replacing yield monitor components. This recalibration is necessary to ensure accuracy of the yield monitor. A more simplistic explanation is that a worn impact plate can result in an incorrect yield reading on the display. It is important to not overlook the yield mapping system as a worn component will throw off yield readings.Update and/or configure DGPS. Software related to auto-steer, yield monitors and other GPS-based systems require separate attention. Licenses must be renewed. Calibrations and parameters must be updated or confirmed — especially if the display in the combine cab was used for planting or spraying earlier in the year. It’s necessary to meticulously switch every setting and value, from machine dimensions to type of crop and operation, so they are relevant to harvest operations.Check auto-steer operations and that previously used AB/guidance lines are available within the display. Remember, you may have to adjust sensitivity settings.It is also important to calibrate yield monitors for every crop, each season to ensure that all data being collected is as accurate as possible. The yield monitor needs to “be taught” how to convert the readings from the mass flow sensor into yield; therefore, it is necessary to show the yield monitor the range of yield conditions it will encounter throughout the season.It is wise to periodically check the calibration throughout the season to be sure the data being collected is still accurate.Grain moisture and density can vary between crop fields and, at times, vary significantly within a field. Accounting for changes in grain moisture and density improves the accuracy of yield estimates.Remember to recalibrate if harvest conditions change. For example, if: yield monitor components are replaced or adjusted; grain moistures increase or decrease by over 6% to 8%; or after a rain shower but still dry enough to harvest.The use of grain carts to calibrate yield monitors can be acceptable as long as it weighs accurately compared to certified scales. One should make sure the weigh wagon is on level ground (less than 2% slope) and stationary for a few seconds before documenting the weight.Bring along field notes to review during harvest as crop conditions vary or issues are observed.While harvest is a busy time, taking notes and images during harvest (especially if conducting on-farm research) can be valuable data when finally sitting down for post-harvest analysis and summary. Notes and images can help document important information.For more information on calibrating yield monitors, check out the Ohio State Precision Ag website at https://digitalag.osu.edu/precision-ag.Ohio Field Leader is a project of the Ohio Soybean Council. For more, visit ohiofieldleader.com.last_img read more