These two capybaras are the latest couple at the zoo. (Photo courtesy Cape May County) The Cape May County Zoo is excited to announce two new arrivals, Budette, a 5-year-old female capybara who arrived from Cleveland Metropark Zoo in July, and Mikey, a 6-year-old male who came last week from Sedwick County Zoo in Kansas.The pair were recommended by the Species Survival Plan and they seem to be getting along very well, according to a county news release.Capybara is one of the largest and longest-living rodents in the world. They are native to South America and their closest relatives include the guinea pig and rock cavies. Capybaras have adapted well to urbanization in South America. They can be found in many areas in zoos and parks and may live for 12 years in captivity, about double their natural lifespan.Capybaras are docile and usually allow humans to pet and hand-feed them, but physical contact is normally discouraged.Cape May County Zoo Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Alex Ernst, announced the arrival of the two capybaras and hopes they will produce pups next spring.“The pair have been slowly acclimating to their new home and they have been released into public view,” Ernst said. “They can be found every day in our newly refurbished capybara habitat at the foot of the Savanna Bridge.”Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the Parks and Zoo, encouraged the public to come out and see the new arrivals.“The Cape May County Zoo is AZA and ZAA accredited and our staff works closely with other zoos as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) to aid in worldwide conservation efforts,” Hayes said. “While the capybara is not a threatened species, they are hunted in some areas for their skin. We were pleased to add Budette and Mikey to our mammal collection and know they will be a favorite of many.”The capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water. They are considered semi-aquatic and are strong swimmers. Their pig-shaped bodies are adapted for life in the waters found in forests, seasonally flooded savannas, and wetlands.Their toes are partially webbed for swimming and their fur is long and brittle for quick drying. When on land, the capybara is a highly social species and can be found in herds as large as 100, but usually live in herds of 10–20.The capybara’s life span in the wild is about 7 years. They can range in size from 77 to 143 pounds and grow to approximately 4.6 feet and measure about 2 feet from the shoulder to the ground.The Cape May County Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Cape May County Park is open from 7 a.m. until dusk.Visitors over the age of 2 are required to wear masks or face coverings and everyone is expected to follow social distancing practices for the protection of the staff, animals and other Park and Zoo guests.The zoo is free and donations are accepted. For more information on the Cape May County Zoo go to www.cmczoo.com.
Airbnb says it has launched its “Open Homes Program,” which provides free housing to displaced residents and disaster relief workers, to those affected by Hurricane Dorian.More than 800 Airbnb hosts will be available in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Check available listings here.As of Monday morning, more than 30 Airbnb locations were available around our state in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tallahassee and Miami-Dade.Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s head of global response and relief, says, “Airbnb’s Open Homes Program continues to be activated for those affected by Hurricane Dorian across the southeast U.S. region. We encourage hosts to open up their homes, and those who need housing to take advantage of the program.”
Various St. Patrick Day Parades are happening in the upcoming weeks.On Sunday, March 13, Rumson holds its Fourth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, beginning at 1 p.m. at Allen Street and River Road. It continues for 1 mile and ends at Carton Street and Forrest Avenue.On Sunday, March 13, Asbury Park is holding its third annual parade. The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the Boardwalk and 4th Avenue, then travels toward the downtown and Main Street. The parade is family friendly and also welcomes dogs. The parade has more than 65 entries – marching units, bands, floats and other attractions.On Saturday, March 19, the Highlands Business Partnership holds the 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade begins at 2 p.m. at Huddy Park on Bay Avenue.
This year’s SA Sports Awards took place in Bloemfontein on Sunday evening. The awards acknowledge local sporting heroes who have excelled in their respective sporting fields.Olympic champion Caster Semenya scooped a number of awards in her absence, bagging Sports Star of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year and People’s Choice awards.SA’s golden girl has experienced win after win in 2018. She reached an 800m personal best of 1:54.25 in the Paris Diamond League that took place in June this year, followed by another seven Diamond League wins, and her most recent wins at the IAAF Continental Cup, claiming the 800m title and the silver medal in the 400m, where she set a new South African record of 49.62.Swimming star, Tatjana Schoenmaker won New Comer of the Year for her wins at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, while Banyana Banyana were voted as the National Team of the Year, following their Cosafa Women’s Championship win in Port Elizabeth this year.Winners of the night include:Sports star of the year: Caster SemenyaSportsman of the year: Chad le ClosSportswoman of the Year: Caster SemenyaSportsman of the year with disability: Mdodozi NtutuSportswoman of the year with disability: Anrune LiebenbergTeam of the year: Banyana BanyanaNewcomer of the year: Tatjana SchoenmakerCoach of the year: Samuel SepengVolunteer of the year: Linda HlopheIndigenous games team of the year: Morabaraba TeamThe Recreation body of the year: Mavu Sport DevelopmentNational Federation of the year: SoftballSchool team of the year: St Benedict’s CollegeDeveloping school of the year: Machakela-Mamodibo Secondary SchoolSport Administrator of the Year: Virginia MabasoPeople’s Choice Award: Caster SemenyaThe country’s excellence in sports contributes to building a competitive and competent Nation Brand. Brand South Africa congratulates all the winners and nominees of the night.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool ace Shaqiri surprised by Arsenal scorelineby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool ace Xherdan Shaqiri admits the 5-1 hammering of Arsenal surprised him.The victory lifted Liverpool nine points clear at the top of the Premier League as Jürgen Klopp’s side increased their unbeaten start to 20 matches.Next up is a massive meeting with Manchester City on Thursday night – and Shaqiri insisted the Reds have to block out any external noise to retain their momentum.“Expectations are always high,” said the Switzerland international.“But we want to stay focused, we have to stay focused and work hard every day. There’s a long way to go. At the moment we’re really happy and I hope we can keep going like this.“We are very happy to win this game. That high a result I didn’t expect – it was important to win. Obviously we had a really good game and we are very happy at the moment.”On his own form, Shaqiri added: “You can see on the pitch I have a lot of confidence at the moment.“I wanted to play from the beginning so I was very happy to play and have an impact on the game, helping my teammates to win the game. I’m very happy at the moment.”
Chelsea duo Kovacic, Ampadu substituted in Croatia-Wales stalemateby Freddie Taylor12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Ethan Ampadu were both substituted in Wales and Croatia’s 1-1 stalemate on Sunday.Tottenham’s Ben Davies went through the back of Kovacic right on the stroke of half-time, with the midfielder not returning after the break.Three minutes into the second half Bruno Petkovic clattered into Ampadu from behind, with Ampadu quickly being replaced by Joe Merrell.Gareth Bale’s goal cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s ninth minute opener, keeping Wales’ hopes of qualification for Euro2020 alive. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Milan: Inter Milan reclaimed top spot in Serie A after a 1-0 win over 10-man Udinese on Saturday as Juventus lost three players to injury in a painful goalless draw at Fiorentina to complicate preparations for next week’s Champions League opener. Stefano Sensi’s diving header was enough to seal a maximum nine points for Antonio Conte’s Inter ahead of their European opener against Slavia Prague in the San Siro next Tuesday. But as Maurizio Sarri made his debut on the Juventus bench after recovering from pneumonia, the Italian champions showed signs of weakness four days before their trip to Atletico Madrid. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhJuventus are trailing two points behind Inter Milan after three games and could be overtaken by city rivals Torino who host promoted Lecce on Monday. Napoli meanwhile warmed up for European holders Liverpool on Tuesday with a Dries Mertens double sealing a 2-0 win over crisis club Sampdoria, to move up to fourth in the table. “We wouldn’t have deserved to win this game,” said Sarri as Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates lacked inspiration and struggled physically. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe reigning eight-time Serie A champions are already missing injured captain Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Marko Pjaca. And Brazilian Douglas Costa pulled up with a hamstring problem minutes into the game in Florence, followed by Miralem Pjanic with a muscular issue with Danilo later suffering cramps in the heat. They nevertheless held on despite pressure with former French international Franck Ribery impressive on his first start for the hosts. “It was a very complicated situation as we used all our substitutions for injuries, and had no fresh players to introduce at key moments,” said Sarri. team with less character would lose such a game.” Midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur added: “We got an important point, today we saw a bad Juventus. “We suffered on the wings, they were very good. We still have to get used to Sarri’s game, but we are on the right track. Now we want to win in Madrid.” Ribery, 36, went off to a standing ovation from the crowd at the Artemio Franchi Stadium after an hour as his team earned their first point this season. Ribery “played better than Ronaldo,” insisted Fiorentina’s new owner Rocco Commisso, as the former Bayern Munich midfielder did well to neutralise Ronaldo, who had scored four goals for Portugal in European qualifiers this week. Ronaldo failed to add to his tally with an acrobatic bicycle kick in the 85th minute flying over the bar. In the San Siro, Udinese played an hour a man down after Rodrigo de Paul saw red for slapping Antonio Candreva. Sensi broke through just before the break getting his head to a cross from fellow newcomer Diego Godin. Former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez came on for the final ten minutes, and was denied his first goal by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso. Napoli played their first home game after renovations carried out to their San Paolo Stadium. Giovanni Di Lorenzo provided the cross for Mertens to tap in after 13 minutes. New signing Fernando Llorente made his debut and the former Tottenham player had an immediate impact, sending the ball back to Mertens who finished off for a 67th-minute goal which took a slight deflection off Sampdoria defender Alex Ferrari.
TORONTO – George Weston Ltd. is investing in two contradicting areas of growing consumer demand for its bakery division — healthier baked goods and indulgent foods.Luc Mongeau, president of the food processing and grocery company’s Weston Foods bakery business, said Tuesday it is working on innovation in its artisan and alternative bread products, and recently built organic production capabilities into its Kitchener, Ont. facility.But Weston Foods is also focusing on goods of the less-healthy variety amid surging demand for products such as donuts.“We are innovating in indulgent product,” Mongeau said on a conference call discussing George Weston’s latest quarterly results. “There is a strong demand for product that delivers greater indulgence, and we are benefiting and growing in these areas with our portfolio.”The bread industry has been under pressure in recent years as consumers look for healthier or artisan versions of the food staple, while also grappling with increased competition from discount retailers.Mongeau’s comments on growing demand for certain segments came as George Weston raised its dividend and reported a first-quarter profit of $180 million. The company says it will now pay a dividend on its common shares of 49 cents per share, up from 45.5 cents.The increase came as George Weston reported its profit attributable to common shareholders amounted to $1.40 per diluted share. That was up from $108 million or 84 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.However, on an adjusted basis, which excludes a number of one-time items, George Weston says it earned $178 million or $1.38 per share compared with $184 million or $1.43 per share a year ago.Sales in the quarter totalled $10.74 billion, down from $10.80 billion in the same quarter last year. Weston Foods’ adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the quarter slipped to $44 million, down 27.9 per cent compared to a year earlier.Galen G. Weston, who is chairman and CEO of George Weston, said the quarter was “marked by significant headwinds.”He told analysts that Loblaw, in which George Weston is the largest shareholder, delivered solid results amid “external pressures from minimum wage and health care reform.”“Weston Foods business performance has been impacted by challenging inflationary pressures and cost relating to the transformation program,” he said.In November, George Weston launched a three-year transformation plan which includes restructuring the organization and simplifying operations.In this most recent quarter, Weston Foods recorded restructuring and other related costs of $15 million, largely related to the transformation program and the previously announced closure of an unprofitable manufacturing facility in the U.S.BMO Capital Markets analyst Peter Sklar said Weston Foods’ results were further below its estimates than expected.“While we were anticipating a deterioration in the bakery’s EBITDA in Q1/18, we were not anticipating this significant of a decline,” he said in a note to clients.George Weston said that it anticipates flat sales this year compared to 2017, with improvement in the second half of 2018 to balance out an under-performing first six months.“The second half of 2018 will need to be significantly stronger than we were previously estimating in order to achieve this,” said Sklar.George Weston has also been under pressure after its admission last year that it and its main subsidiary, Loblaw Companies Ltd., had participated in what they say is an industry-wide arrangement to co-ordinate the price of bread for at least 14 years.Weston addressed the issue at the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto on Tuesday, telling shareholders that “there is no excuse” for what occurred, but could not comment in more detail due to the ongoing investigation by the Competition Bureau.“I believe, that when something like this happens, you must take accountability,” he said in his opening remarks. “We discovered the scheme, we reported it immediately to the authorities and have taken steps to make sure that it never happens again.”Companies in this story: (TSX:WN, TSX:L, TSX:CHP.UN)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California utilities again are facing severe financial pressures from the possibility that their equipment sparked catastrophic wildfires, including two that are now burning at either end of the state.The pressure comes even though Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September giving utilities some relief beginning next year.The law made it easier for utilities to pass along costs from fire-related damages to consumers and also avoid possible bankruptcy from a series of major fires that occurred during the 2017 fire season that produced more than $10 billion in losses.But there was a gap in the law: No damages specific to 2018 were included, so utilities face a higher bar to bill customers to cover those costs. And this year already supplanted 2017 as the most destructive in California’s recorded history.Authorities have not determined a cause for either of two major blazes burning now, but Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison have reported irregularities with their equipment near the time and place where both ignited.A woman who owns land near the site where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California said Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sought access to her property just before the blaze started because the utility’s power lines were causing sparks.PG&E shares have lost more than a third of their value since the Camp Fire broke out northeast of San Francisco, destroying thousands of homes and killing dozens of people as it levelled the town of Paradise.Moody’s Investors Service said Monday that the “shortcomings” in the legislation reflect negatively on PG&E’s credit rating, which is barely investment grade.“Moody’s negative outlook incorporates the view that additional financial stress for PG&E is likely,” Moody’s spokesman Joe Mielenhausen said in an email. “Going forward, we will look for signs of additional legislative and regulatory support for the utility as it works through various legal processes.”Last week PG&E told state regulators that it detected a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the blaze minutes before the fire broke out. The utility later said it observed damage to a transmission tower on the line, and a PG&E spokeswoman said the company will co-operate with any investigations.Betsy Ann Cowley, a property owner near the site said PG&E sought access to the area before the fire started, telling her power lines were sparking.Southern California Edison told regulators there was an outage on an electrical circuit near the site where the Woolsey Fire started in Ventura County. It quickly spread into Malibu and destroyed hundreds of homes.SoCal Edison said the report was submitted out of an abundance of caution and there was no indication from fire officials that its equipment may have been involved. The report said the fire was reported around 2:24 p.m. Thursday, two minutes after the outage.Shares of parent company Edison International have tumbled more than 20 per cent since the fire started.California is one of just two states that hold electric companies entirely liable for damage caused by their equipment, even if they followed all safety precautions. The new law makes it easier for them to pass some of those costs along to consumers.Utilities lobbied aggressively to eliminate that strict liability standard but lawmakers dropped the idea amid pressure from insurers, trial lawyers and fire victims.Instead, legislators passed a law making it easier for utilities to manage the costs without going bankrupt. They created two mechanisms for investor-owned utilities to shift the costs of wildfire lawsuits onto their customers— one process that begins in 2019, and another for the 2017 fires.For reasons that remain unclear, they law left the rules unchanged for 2018.“The priority was on addressing 2017 victims and putting in place some fire-safety measures,” said Paul Payne, a spokesman for Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Democrat and the bill’s author. “The focus was on making 2017 victims whole.”It’s too soon to say whether the Legislature will take up another fight over the 2018 fires, Payne said.SoCal Edison officials say the Legislature needs to do more to shield utilities from wildfire-related liability.“SCE believes the state can do more, including enacting fire-smart building codes, particularly in high fire risk areas, and ensuring the proper allocation of risk for the often-tragic consequences of wildfires,” spokeswoman Justina Garcia wrote in an email.A PG&E spokesman, Paul Doherty, did not respond to questions about the legislation, saying “our entire company is focused on supporting first responders.”Sen. Jerry Hill, a Redwood City Democrat and longtime critic of PG&E, called the report of troubles on PG&E’s lines in the area extremely worrisome.“At some point we have to say enough is enough and we have to ask: Should this company be allowed to do business in California?” Hill said. “These fires take a spark, and at least in the last few years fires have been caused by negligent behaviour by PG&E. We need to see how we can hold them responsible, or look at alternative way of doing business.”Hill said he was exploring legislative options to keep a closer check on PG&E, including the possibility of breaking up the utility.“They are a monopoly and they act as a monopoly,” Hill said. “That is a problem when the motive is profit, and that just may not be the right motive for providing utility services.”___Associated Press writer Garance Burke contributed from San Francisco.Jonathan J. Cooper, The Associated Press
Putrajaya: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday defended Singapore’s proposed law to fight “online falsehoods,” but his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad warned that anti-fake news laws were a double-edged sword that could be abused by governments to stay in power. The two leaders were speaking after annual talks Tuesday aimed at resolving disputes over maritime boundaries, airspace management and the price of water that had strained ties since Mahathir’s alliance swept to power in elections last May. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USLee said many countries including France, Germany and Australia have legislation to combat fake news. Singapore took nearly two years to deliberate on the issue before the government unveiled a bill in parliament last week to combat fake news, he said. The law allows the government to remove online content it deems as false and includes a jail term of up to 10 years and hefty fines. “This is the problem of fake news and deliberate false statement being proliferated online. It is a serious problem which confronts many countries,” Lee said at a joint news conference. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Singapore is not the only one which has taken legislation on this issue. The French has done so, the Germans have done so. The Australians have just done so, something similar and very draconian. The British are also thinking of doing this as well. So Singapore had to do this and we had a long process… finally we have this bill and it will be debated in the house and I hope eventually it will become legislation,” he said. Lee rejected criticisms from rights groups such as Reporters Without Borders which had voiced fear the law could further stifle free speech in Singapore, which already has stern laws on public protests and dissent. “They criticized many things about Singapore’s media management but what we have done have worked for Singapore. And it is our objective to continue to do things that will work for Singapore. And I think (the new law) will be a significant step forward in this regard,” he added. Mahathir, however, said his government will repeal Malaysia’s law against fake news as it promised. An earlier effort to do so was blocked by the opposition-led Senate but the government is expected to push it through again. “For us, we need to learn how to handle such fake news. When we have laws that prevent people from airing their views, then we are afraid the government may abuse the law as it has happened in the last government,” Mahathir said. “We do not want any government, whether this or succeeding governments, to make use of this law in order to tell and create fake news in order to sustain themselves. Of course it will be difficult to handle, but we believe we can accept the challenges and we can handle that.”