Press release: Highways England launches £20m competitions to revolutionise roads

first_imgThe company aims to build on the nation’s great history of innovation and has set aside £20m to invest in projects which change the way the country’s motorways and major A roads are designed, managed and used.It is inviting ground-breaking entries which will help develop digital roads – connected vehicles and infrastructure, design and construction that reduces cost and improves safety, better and more predictable journey times – and to improve air quality.Anyone interested in entering the competition is encouraged to join a webinar, hosted by Innovate UK and Highways England on Thursday 14 February.The types of benefits which road users and local communities could see as a result include better quality journeys, improved road safety, more efficient use of vehicles, enhanced public spaces and improved health.The competitions come as the company continues to plan for the future, the changing roads landscape and the increasing automation in vehicles and systems.Entries open on 11 February.Mike Wilson, Highways England’s Executive Director for Safety, Engineering and Standards, said: Examples of projects could include roads which repair themselves, robotic construction methods, and improved connections between different modes of transport.One competition is for unproven feasibility projects which through a second phase closed competition could be further funded for development. The other competition is for proven projects at development stage.To lead a project, entrants can be an organisation of any size, and can either work alone or with others as subcontractors.Entries must be suitable for a trial on England’s strategic road network. Projects are expected to start by September this year.The funding comes from two of Highways England’s Designated funds – ring-fenced pots of money – which the company has set aside for innovation and air quality projects.The bids will be administered by Innovate UK, the innovation agency which drives solutions to the greatest challenges facing the UK by connecting businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into reality.Entries can be submitted from Monday 11 February 2019 to 8 May 2019.Further details of the funding, and of the webinar are available on the Innovate UK websiteGeneral enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. Highways England is delivering the Government’s current £15bn road investment programme and paving the way for the second programme which will start in April 2020.In June 2018 the company launched an ‘innovation portal’ – an online platform to help identify projects which could make roads safer for motorists and road workers, improve how information reaches those travelling around or help deliver an ambitious roads programme.And in October it showcased to an international audience the pioneering work it was leading to transform journeys with innovative technology allowing vehicles and the roads to ‘talk’ to each other.Now the company is casting its net wider and looking to invest in creative solutions covering six themes: This is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs, collaborative partnerships, and organisations of any size to help shape the roads of the future. We want to explore new and innovative approaches and invest in the best. And we’re keen to engage with a wider network than we have traditionally worked with. Together we can make great improvements both to people’s journeys and communities and the environment around our network. Design, construction and maintenance Connected and autonomous vehicles Customer mobility Energy and the environment Operations Air qualitylast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Ben Platt to Leave Broadway’s Mormon & More

first_img Star Files Ben Platt Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Transatlantic Mormon UpdateA plethora of hellos for The Book of Mormon on both sides of the Pond. As previously reported, Gavin Creel is taking over as Elder Price on Broadway from Nic Rouleau, who is heading to London. Rouleau will begin performances in the West End on February 2, 2015, which we now know is the same day Brian Sears (who also appeared on the Great White Way in the musical) joins the London company as Elder Cunningham. There’s also a goodbye—Ben Platt, who is currently playing Elder Cunningham in New York, will depart the production on January 4, 2015 (the same day as Rouleau). A production spokesperson had no word yet on who is replacing Platt. We believe in you all!John Rando Turns Down King KongThere’s possibly some chest-beating going on with the team behind the Broadway-aimed King Kong. Tony winner John Rando, who had been in talks to helm the stage adaptation of the thriller, has dropped out because of timing issues, The New York Times reports. Rando’s current projects include The Honeymooners. Hopefully a new director will tie the knot with the monster musical soon.ICYMI: Peter Pan Live!If for some strange reason you missed the telecast of Peter Pan Live! on December 4, we are coming to your rescue. You can either get your fill of Christopher Walken’s dancing, Allison Williams’ flying and Christian Borle’s biceps at anytime online here or actually watch the show on TV—NBC will be re-airing it on December 13.See Woods’ Anna Kendrick Sing ‘On the Steps…’So yesterday we brought you a first listen of Anna Kendrick singing “On the Steps of the Palace” from Disney’s upcoming Into the Woods. Today, below, we bring you a first look at it, although it’s not the whole scene. For that, you will have to wait until the classic tuner hits movie theaters on Christmas Day. Not long now!center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Kristin Chenoweth is ‘Scared to Death’ About Hairspray Live!

first_imgKristin Chenoweth View Comments Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth will soon be seen on screen in NBC’s Hairspray Live! and she stopped by The Tonight Show on November 21 to chat about taking on the role of Velma Von Tussle. “I’m scared to death,” she admitted to host Jimmy Fallon, although baton twirling was already a special skill on her resume. Check out below as she then went on and sang in a way you’ve never heard her sing before…The live broadcast on December 7 will also star Harvey Fierstein, who is set to reprise his Tony-winning performance as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Derek Hough as Corny Collins and newcomer Maddie Baillio.last_img read more

Birds & Bees.

first_imgBirds do it. Bees do it. But how do flowers and trees do it? On the next”Gardening in Georgia” June 15 and 17, host Walter Reeves will tell what to saywhen your child asks, “How do plants make babies?”Besides his “daffodil botany” lesson, Reeves will also look at “garbagegardening.” He’ll show how to sprout an avocado pit, root a pineapple top and plantginger and garlic you find at the grocery store.He’ll show how to get four times as many flowers by deadheading (removing the fadedflowers from) your rhododendrons, too.Finally, he’ll look at tropical plants. The tropical look that’s so popular incommercial landscapes can become a part of your landscape, too.Thursdays, Saturday on GPTVDon’t miss “Gardening in Georgia” Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or Saturdays at 10a.m. on Georgia Public Television. The show is designed especially for Georgia gardeners. “Gardening in Georgia” is produced by the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. Walter Reeveslast_img read more

Hurricane Michael Totals

first_imgHurricane Michael blew across southwest Georgia on Oct. 10, causing more than $2 billion in losses to the state’s agriculture industry, according to early estimates from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agricultural economists and Extension agents.“These are our best estimates (as of Oct. 17) on information from UGA Extension agents in the field, as well as our Extension specialists,” said Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean of UGA Extension. “They have traveled many miles and seen many fields to gather this data and worked with economists to come up with these estimates. As we learn more, these estimates could change.”PECANSThe state’s pecan industry suffered a $100 million loss from this year’s crop plus $260 million in lost trees. An additional $200 million in future profits will be lost over the next decade as new orchards are planted and existing orchards are reestablished, said Lenny Wells, UGA Extension pecan specialist.Between 30 and 40 percent of the pecan trees were destroyed in Dougherty, Lee and Mitchell counties, where 30 percent of Georgia’s pecan crop is produced. In areas less severely affected by the storm, growers with trees that are still standing will be able to harvest a lot of the nuts that were blown to the ground, Wells said.Overall, Wells believes that half of Georgia’s pecan crop has been lost for this year.COTTONCotton fields that promised near-record harvest were destroyed by the hurricane; some fields in southwest Georgia have been declared a complete loss with all the cotton now blown off the plants and lying on the ground.The hurricane crushed the prospects of 1,500 to 1,800 pounds of dryland cotton for some cotton growers, who suffered losses of 80 to 90 percent in some fields.“It’s much worse than I thought it would be,” said Jared Whitaker, UGA Extension cotton agronomist. “Southwest of (Tifton, Georgia), it’s terrible, in Bainbridge and Donalsonville … pictures I’ve received from Washington County will make you feel sick.”While farmers in southeast Georgia slipped by with as little as 15 percent loss, some southwest Georgia farmers are looking at total losses in some fields, he said.“I think what we do from here on out is going to vary in a lot of places. In some places I’ve seen, I don’t think we’ll even pull a picker in there to harvest the crop. I think we lost so much cotton that it wouldn’t be profitable to even harvest it,” Whitaker said.The fact that the storm struck when the cotton was near harvest made the impact even more severe. Whitaker estimates that only 15 percent of this year’s crop was already picked before Hurricane Michael arrived, while a small portion of the crop was planted late enough to be relatively safe.Georgia cotton crop loss estimates vary widely, from $550 to $600 million in lost lint and seed.PEANUTSThe loss to Georgia’s peanut crop is estimated to be between $10 and $20 million. The hurricane dealt a devastating blow to local buying points and peanut shellers when it traveled through Bainbridge, Donalsonville, Camilla, Albany and Cordele, Georgia, which represent a significant portion of the state’s peanut-producing community.“In the western part of the state, there has been significant damage to drying shelters and elevators that will slow the harvest down. Ultimately, growers may have to field-dry peanuts until repairs are made,” said UGA Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort. “The loss of elevators could also cause a backlog of trailers for farmers who are trying to drop off their crop. This will again slow down harvest at a time when producers are trying to get their peanuts out of the field.”Before the storm, 40 to 45 percent of Georgia’s peanut crop was still in the field, he said. Now growers must harvest the remaining crop without losing too much in weight and quality. Some nuts will be lost due to overmaturity or disease as growers could not dig peanuts due to the storm, Monfort said.VEGETABLESGeorgia’s late summer and fall vegetable crop was also close to harvest or in the midst of harvest when Hurricane Michael arrived. The damage varies significantly across southwestern Georgia counties, but the loss is estimated at more than $480 million.Some vegetable farmers in the direct path of the storm lost close to 90 percent, while others on the edges of the storm lost around 20 to 30 percent. A 20 percent loss is quite significant for an individual farmer, said Greg Fonsah, the UGA Cooperative Extension agricultural economist who was charged with calculating the crop loss and its economic impact.Sweet corn producers, many of which were in the direct path of the storm, were hardest hit, with losses of up to 100 percent of their remaining crop. In Mitchell and Decatur counties, where the bulk of the state’s fall sweet corn is planted, much of the crop was destroyed, said Timothy Coolong, UGA Extension vegetable horticulture specialist.Because of the long growing season, southwest Georgia farmers are able to produce spring and fall crops of vegetables like tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplants, green beans, peppers, cucumbers and squash. Harvest occurs in June and October for spring and fall crops, respectively.”A lot of farmers were just starting their main harvest for fall crops when the storm hit,” Coolong said. Plants that were fully loaded with produce were pushed down by 60 mph winds with gusts from 80 to 100 mph. This phenomenon, known as lodging, not only makes produce hard to harvest, it exposes the fruit to the sun, which causes sunburn, a condition that makes the fruit unmarketable.Many of the state’s cool-season vegetables, which were just transplanted, were spared. Although some damage is expected, most of the plants were small enough to be somewhat sheltered from the hurricane’s winds.NURSERY INDUSTRYGeorgia’s nursery production industry, which produces trees and ornamental plants for landscapes across the southeast, suffered $13 million as nurseries in the southwest corner of the state were damaged.TIMBERThe Georgia Forestry Commission reported that the hurricane damaged about 2 million in acres in timberland, valued at $374 million. About 79,000 acres of forestland are a complete loss, according to Georgia Forestry Commissioner Chuck Williams.POULTRY, LIVESTOCK, TIMBER AND SOYBEANSThe poultry industry losses are estimated at $25 million in lost birds and houses. Soybean growers suffered a $10 to $20 million loss. Livestock and dairy farmers suffered infrastructure losses, like fencing and forage, but UGA Extension economists have no real estimate for livestock losses. Dairy farmers lost milk production due to power outages, which prevented them from milking cows and storing their milk safely.  (UGA Extension public relations coordinators Merritt Melancon and Clint Thompson contributed to this report. This story was update Oct. 26 to reflect the latest damage estimates.)last_img read more

Colombia Marks Least Violent Months in More than 30 Years

first_img ELN atttacks increase “The conflict’s de-escalation has given the Armed Forces a greater capability to carry out offensive operations against other groups, and the results have been remarkable,” he said, referring to the October 2 operation that resulted in the death of kingpin Víctor Ramón Navarro Serrano, alias ‘Megateo’, a notorious drug trafficker for whom the U.S. government was offering a $5 million reward. “It has given the Army greater mobility with fewer threats.” “At least three of them – the Teófilo Forero, Daniel Aldana, and Miller Perdomo columns – are very involved in organized crime activities related to illegal mining and drug trafficking,” said Restrepo. “Along with some of the FARC’s fronts in Vichada and Catatumbo, they are the keenest on exploiting criminal incomes.” In particular, the ELN appears to be undergoing internal rifts and is so far unwilling to participate in a peace process. Nevertheless, CERAC reported that from late July to the end of September the FARC reportedly violated its unilateral ceasefire at least four times with intentional attacks and homicides, and during eight armed confrontations with the Colombian Army. Still, the agreement has resulted in a major decrease in bloodshed: those battles resulted in nine dead guerrillas and three Soldiers, an 83 percent decrease in offensive actions when compared to the monthly averages from January through May. “It’s evident that the FARC has decreased significantly its violent activities in the armed conflict,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Villegas told RCN Radio late in September. “We have information of most fronts ceasing (their) activities.” The FARC’s ceasefire and Colombia’s drawdown began on July 20, when the government ceased airstrikes against the terrorist group. Since then, violent actions by the FARC have decreased dramatically – from 131 attacks in June and July to only four in August and September, according to CERAC Director Jorge Restrepo. Those six weeks from mid-August to the end of September were, in fact, the least violent in decades: authorities recorded the fewest conflict-related victims for a similar period of time since 1984, according to the CERAC. In fact, ELN attacks have increased 39 percent since July 20. Most of these incidents, including attacks on the Armed Forces, have taken place in the northeastern departments of Arauca and Norte de Santander. Conflict de-escalation measures agreed to by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have yielded the two least violent months in more than 30 years, according to the Conflict Analysis Resource Center (CERAC), a Bogotá-based think tank that monitors the country’s levels of bloodshed. center_img FARC’s self-sufficient mobile columns These mobile columns have been responsible for most of the FARC’s major terrorist actions, and many of them have more firepower and explosives capabilities than a front. They pose a grave threat to maintaining the recent low levels of violence, according to the CERAC. “This was a negotiated agreement and it has been much more effective [than the FARC’s previous ceasefire], for it has led to a reduction of violence from both the FARC and the government,” Restrepo explained. Additionally, criminal groups and the National Liberation Army (ELN), another terrorist organization, could increase Colombia’s level of violence. By Dialogo October 22, 2015 Great information thanks I do not agree with what those criminal groups do. We in Colombia would have a much more pleasant country if it weren’t for that scourge. As a consequence of the FARC’s unilateral ceasefire and possible demobilization, the Colombian National Army can carry out more full-fledged operations against the ELN and criminal bands, according to Restrepo. Although this is good news for Colombia, the government must remain on alert. At least 60 percent of recent deaths have been caused by the FARC’s 28th mobile columns – units usually consisting of 70 to 80 fighters and designed to be maneuverable, independent, and self-sufficient. last_img read more

Security advice from an ‘ethical hacker’

first_imgSometimes it pays to trust a hacker—at least one who has dedicated his career to uncovering potential vulnerabilities living below the surface in credit union information systems.David Anderson of CliftonLarsonAllen is just such an “ethical hacker,” and he gave CUNA Tech/OpSS Council Conference attendees a peek behind the curtain of today’s latest cybercrime techniques.Anderson uses leading-edge hacking and testing methods, including network penetration, social engineering, and email phishing to expose potential areas of weakness in his clients’ networks.Anderson says the No. 1 oversight “that makes a hacker’s life easy” is providing users with local administrative privileges. This action may enable hackers to locate the one system or application that has a vulnerable entry point, and it increases the range of possibilities of what the hacker can accomplish within the system.Other practices that may expose sensitive data to hacker activity include not giving domain administrators separate user accounts, poor patching, weak encryption practices, and the widespread use of vendor systems and equipment. continue reading » 30SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Irish retailers block Liffey extension plan

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

S. Korea to allow fans at baseball, football stadiums

first_imgOf 41 new cases announced on Friday — taking the country’s total to 13,979 — 28 were domestic infections while 13 were people arriving from overseas.Authorities warned that Saturday’s confirmed cases will likely to be over 100, as some 90 Korean workers who returned from Iraq are currently showing symptoms.The workers — some 300 of them — arrived in the South earlier on Friday. South Korea will start letting limited numbers of fans back into baseball and football stadiums, an official said Friday, as authorities seek to restore normality after the coronavirus crisis.The country endured one of the worst early outbreaks outside China but appears to have brought it broadly under control with an extensive “trace, test and treat” program while never imposing a compulsory lockdown.Social distancing rules were relaxed in early May and some professional sports — including baseball and football — started new seasons behind closed doors. Topics :center_img From Sunday, fans will be allowed to fill about 10 percent of seats at professional baseball games, said Yoon Tae-ho of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.The same proportion will be allowed at football matches from August 1, he added.”All tickets will be pre-sold online to record who is being admitted to the stadiums, and every spectator will be required to wear a mask” throughout the games, Yoon told reporters.The South’s daily new infections tally has varied between around 25 to 60 in recent weeks, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area where half of the population lives.last_img read more

What is John McGrath’s top suburb pick on the Gold Coast?

first_imgThe report also revealed property prices on the Gold Coast were “responding and increasing at a healthier rate than Brisbane” because of the buzz around the 2018 Commonwealth Games.COOMERA is set to boom according to leading real estate industry figure John McGrath.The northern suburb was Mr McGrath’s top suburb pick on the Gold Coast in his McGrath Report 2018, released today.“Coomera was the fourth fastest growing area in Queensland in the 10 years to 2016 according to the ABS,” the report states,“Coomera will benefit from new infrastructure including the $470 million Westfield Shopping Centre which is expected to open in late 2018.”Mr McGrath, who founded McGrath Real Estate, said his other top Queensland picks included Wynnum, North Lakes, Peregian Springs and Caloundra.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa22 hours ago“The affordability of southeast East Queensland is attracting record levels of interstate migration as well as rising interest from investors and first home buyers, with its housing market continuing to produce solid results,” it stated.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 3:46Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -3:46 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenGrowth of regional hubs03:46The report also revealed property prices on the Gold Coast were “responding and increasing at a healthier rate than Brisbane” because of the buzz around the 2018 Commonwealth Games.The Gold Coast median house price increased 7.3 per cent to $620,000 in the 12 months to June, 2017 according to CoreLogic.“GC2018 will inject billions of dollars into the economy, with 6,600 athletes and officials and 100,000 visitors attending the event and a global TV audience of more than 1.5 billion expected to watch it,” the report states.“Three new competition venues and significant upgrades to several other facilities will provide important long term benefits. New venues include the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, which will boost the economy long term by attracting professional training camps and major events.“Construction of sporting facilities as well as the extension of the light rail have boosted the local economy.”last_img read more