November 18

News Scan for May 31, 2017

first_imgWHO: International vaccine deployment not recommended in DRCIn the latest situation report on the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said that international vaccine deployment of rVSV-ZEBOV, the experimental Ebola vaccine, and cold chain shipment is not advised at this time to contain the outbreak.As reported yesterday, DRC authorities have approved a possible ring vaccination strategy if needed. Although advising against that step at this point, the WHO did say, “Planning and arrangements should be in place for immediate deployment if necessary.”As seen in recent situation reports, the number of suspected Ebola cases that have been discarded continues to climb. As of May 30, 2 previously suspected cases tested negative for Ebola, which leaves only 2 confirmed cases, 3 probable, and 12 confirmed cases. There are still only three deaths attributed to the hemorrhagic virus, and the last confirmed case was diagnosed on May 11.All cases are in the Likati Health Zone, in the northern reaches of the DRC. The remote area is hard to access, which has helped limit the outbreak.As of May 30, 101 contacts are still being traced and monitored for signs and symptoms of Ebola, the WHO said. Follow-up will last 21 days.May 30 WHO situation report MSF tackles meningitis C outbreaks in Niger, NigeriaMedecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) announced yesterday that it was continuing vaccination efforts to help quell one of the largest outbreaks of meningitis C in Africa’s meningitis belt.Nigeria has reported 13,943 suspected cases and 1,112 deaths since Dec 13, 2016. In Niger, there have been 3,037 recorded cases since Jan 1 and 179 deaths. Last week, MSF finished a vaccination campaign that reached 136,000 people in the worst-hit areas of Nigeria. A separate campaign vaccinated 140,600 people in the Sokoto region of Nigeria. Both campaigns have been aided by the Ministry of Health of Nigeria.In Niger, MSF worked with local authorities to launch vaccination campaigns that inoculated 463,800 people between the ages of 2 and 20 years in 28 health areas of the country where meningitis C infections have reached endemic levels. May 30 MSF storylast_img read more

October 16

A Walk Down Memory Lane With Amy Halsey

Ten-year-old Will Dupree handles the farm equipment like a pro. Storing the produce. Amy Halsey shows off the apple blossoms. Amy Halsey shows off the apple blossoms. Amy at five years old standing in the apple orchard. Independent/Courtesy Amy Halsey“If you had asked me when I was a kid if I wanted to be pulling weeds and playing in the dirt for a living, I would have said, heck no!” stated Amy Halsey, of the Milk Pail in Water Mill. “But I actually love it. I love being outside, being in the soil and watching things grow. I think it’s nothing short of miraculous. Watching the little leaves unfurling from a tree, the grass turning that bright, deep green, the blossoms blooming, the bees knowing they’re supposed to be here, and the animals having their young is exciting to me and yet.” Dhe added, “It also makes me realize how minute we are in the big picture.”A 12th-generation Halsey, Amy Halsey-Cohn and her sister Jennifer Dupree are co-owners of the well-known farm market and U-Pick on Montauk Highway in Water Mill, which celebrates its 50th year. The two sisters took over the business from their parents, John and Evelyn Halsey, when they retired.“My father wanted to be a dairy man his whole life and went to college to learn but my grandfather, Everett Halsey, a potato farmer, said he was crazy and would never find a woman who would want a stinky old farmer,” she said. But John Halsey has a dairy farm for nine years, and during then he met Evelyn Halsey at the Blue Moon bar that was in Southampton. It was on their honeymoon that they imagined a small retail store, the Milk Pail, to sell their milk and vegetables.“They also introduced apples from my mother’s parents, Max and Ruth Skou’s orchard in Vermont,” Halsey said.“Believe it or not, they used to meet on the road halfway between Water Mill and Vermont and fill up a truck with the apples from my grandparents’ apple orchard. My grandfather had worked for Grumman and when he retired, he bought the orchard in Vermont and kept it as a hobby.” The apples were a big hit and the following spring, the Halseys started their own orchard, incorporating new growing techniques developed by Cornell University.In keeping with the family’s farming tradition whose roots date back to the 1640s, Halsey attended SUNY Cobleskill, earning a horticulture and plant science degree. A pioneer in Cobleskill’s program, Halsey requested an internship in Europe. “I always wanted to see Holland. The Dutch and Germans are so innovative in the flower world. I think it’s amazing how they reclaimed land from the sea. They’re really smart people and they grow plants really well,” she noted.Halsey was accepted and worked with Tuincentraum De Bosrand in Holland. With the assistance of the Van de Wetering family in Jamesport, she lived with the van der Holst family in Wassenar during her four-month internship.Reminiscing, Halsey admits that she was a very quiet person throughout her schooling and remembers when she told her parents she was going to Holland for her internship. “They took me to the airport and I just got on the plane and left. They were standing there going, ‘What just happened?’ I’d never been away from home. I was immediately homesick and everyone was speaking Dutch. I called my parents and said I wanted to come home. But, by the next day, I was fine and I never looked back. I didn’t want to come home when the internship was over. I loved what I did, I loved the people, and loved the area. It was an awesome experience.”Amy’s sister, Jennifer Dupree has her degree in pomology with a degree from Cornell University. “With her expertise in the growing and marketing of fruit, Jen handles the production and mechanical end of the farm and also added peaches, pears, and some blueberries to the farm. I do the artistic sales end at the store,” Halsey explained. “We have different personalities and it actually works out well.”“I consider myself a very lucky girl. I’ve been married for the past nine years to Austin Cohn. He’s an equine dental professional. We met when I was riding at a local stable and we liked each other instantly and kept bumping into one another sort of accidently on purpose. He’s super supportive,” she added.“Jen has two children, Will and Kay. Will is 10 years old and ready to take over the family business. I’m pretty sure Will was born with boots and a cowboy hat,” she said. “Kay is six, and still busy being a kid. My mother still helps out in the store and my father spends a lot of time with his grandchildren on the farm. He just bought a new lathe and is busy doing some woodworking projects and putting some of the items in the store. He also does the farm tours and gives the whole run-down on how the farm started, how it progressed, why we changed from milk to apples. He tries to inform the public how it gets from a seed to a tree to an apple to your mouth. It’s not a ride to the grocery store,” she said.“I’ve been farming since I was three and a half,” Halsey stated. “And I feel that people have lost connection with the process. People come into the store in May and ask why we don’t have any apples. People don’t understand that it takes a year to produce them and that there are all these components that go into one little apple. During the time they are growing, you are maintaining them, feeding them, pruning them, harvesting them, and storing them. It doesn’t just happen.“The big supermarkets bring their fruits and vegetables from all over the world so people are used to walking in and getting an avocado whenever they want it. I think that’s why there is such a disconnect. I feel that I am here to help educate as well as provide food. I’m also very passionate about life and that’s what farming is: the circle of life.”[email protected] John Halsey gives an informative tour of the farm. The apple blossoms on the Halsey Farm. The flyer to announce the Milk Pail’s new location. Amy at five years old standing in the apple orchard. The Milk Pail’s first location. Cows on the dairy farm. The Halsey family working at the Milk Pail before any renovations. Storing the produce. Amy in the newly renovated Milk Pail. The Halsey family working at the Milk Pail before any renovations. Amy at three years old with her puppy. Share John Halsey works on his new lathe. Storing the produce. read more

September 28

Beware ‘hidden extras’: government issues conveyancer checklist

first_imgThe government advises home buyers and sellers to check for ‘hidden extras’ when choosing a conveyancer in ‘how to’ guides published today.The guides follow an announcement by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government last year as part of its promise to improve the home buying and selling process in England and Wales. Buyers are told in their guide to get multiple quotes from ‘legal professionals’. It advises: ‘You should expect to be told the full price upfront, but you should check if there are any hidden extras and if they have paid a referral fee for your custom. Ask what fee you will be charged in the even your sale does not go through.’If conveyancers have online reviews, buyers are told to read what customers think of the service they provide, and whether they have the specialist skills to handle leasehold, shared ownership or listed building properties.On service, the guide asks if the purchaser will have a named contact and what the communication options are. ‘Do you prefer online or in-person service? Do their opening hours suit you? Do they have experience conveying properties in your local area?,’ it asks.Buyers are told to check if the conveyancer is on their mortgage lender’s panel and refers them to the Legal Choices website to check the conveyancer is regulated by an appropriate body.The guide says: ‘Once you have agreed that a legal professional will act for you, they should provide you with a letter of engagement which sets out the terms of your agreement with them including the instructions you have given them, the fee they will charge, the timescales for the agreement, and other relevant information.’The sellers’ guide states that legal representatives should be chosen shortly before the home is put on the market or as soon as possible once it is up for sale to reduce delays.On price, sellers are also told to check for hidden extras and whether the conveyancer will be paid a referral fee. It also suggests checking whether the conveyancer has a ‘no-move, no-fee’ service. Both guides tell buyers and sellers to contact the legal ombudsman over unresolved complaints about a legal professional.Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority says mortgage firms will be limited to factual information only when discussing panel solicitors with consumers under proposals to improve mortgage advice and selling standards.The city watchdog’s consultation paper, published today, states that such information could be, for instance, whether or not a particular firm is on the lender’s panel, and what legal fees are or are not included in the mortgage offer.last_img read more

December 29

Whiskey distillery breathes new life into famous Donegal factory

first_imgThree Donegal men are on the cusp of completing their new venture into whiskey distilling – and bringing the craft back to Donegal for the first time in 180 years.Crolly Distillery, located in the former Crolly Dolls Factory, will be a fully-functional distillery and visitor centre which aims to attract tourists and whiskey enthusiasts from all over the world to West Donegal.Joe Devenney from Annagry, Conor McMenamin from Ballybofey and Kieran Davis from Letterkenny are the men behind the exciting Donegal whiskey revival project. The team are delighted to be bringing new life to the former Crolly Doll factory and envisage the first liquid gold will flow through their pot stills in early 2020. Founders of Crolly Distillery – Kieran, Joe and ConorA state-of-the-art visitor centre will open in 2021 for specialist whiskey tours and tastings. It aims to attract 20,000 visitors in year one, with hopeful growth in these projected tourism figures going forward. Whiskey was last (legally!) produced in Donegal by William Leatham at the Bohillion Distillery in Burt but those stills fell silent in the early 1840’s. Three years ago, Joe, Conor and Kieran set about reviving the craft and reviving the famous  Crolly Doll factory, which has lain dormant for twenty years until now.Crolly Distillery constructionThe location was selected alongside the Dore River as it provides ideal climatic conditions to slowly age a high-quality single malt Irish whiskey. Authenticity and originality are at the core of this endeavour and this sets Crolly apart. ‘If it’s Crolly on the bottle, it’s Crolly in the bottle’ is the mantra of the boutique distillery, which will produce in small batch volumes of an artisan, delectable single malt whiskey (50,000 litres of pure alcohol annually). The promoters have invested heavily to create a distillery which will be as sustainable and green as possible, harvesting rain water and recycling heat energy from the mashing and distillation process. The founders have also sourced two beautifully restored ex-cognac copper pot stills from the South of France and grade A ex-bourbon oak casks shipped from the United States for their premium product.Crolly WhiskeyThe Crolly Distillery story has already begun with the Founder’s 180 Club Cask Programme. The investment programme invites whiskey lovers to acquire one of the very first casks of Donegal-produced Irish whiskey from The Crolly Distillery. There are just 180 individually numbered casks available, and owning a cask allows members to be part of an exclusive Crolly club.Since the Crolly Factory renovations began, the distillery founders and promoters have been struck by the fond memories and anecdotes shared with them from locals – and they want to preserve those memories in the visitor centre and online in the future. The team are requesting your Crolly memories, be they pictures or written word, to [email protected]  The worldwide chatter about the ‘the goings on’ in Crolly has already resulted in 50 Founders 180 Club casks sold at home and abroad.Cheers to that!Tugann an ghníomhaireacht rialtais, Údarás na Gaeltachta, tacaíocht don tionscnamh seo.Whiskey distillery breathes new life into famous Donegal factory was last modified: December 6th, 2019 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)last_img read more