Tennessee-based Mission Coal files for bankruptcy protection

first_imgTennessee-based Mission Coal files for bankruptcy protection FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Mission Coal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama, according to court filings.The Kingsport, Tennessee-based company, which produces and markets mostly metallurgical coal, was formed in January through a reorganization that combined and consolidated the operations of Seneca Coal Resources and Seminole Coal Resources.Mission Coal has two deep mines and one surface mine in West Virginia and one deep mine in Alabama with coal qualities varying between low-volatility, mid-volatility and high-volatility coal. Through Sunday, the company had spent roughly $28 million upgrading the mining complexes, according to the filing, but “despite favorable market forces and commodity pricing,” Mission was unable to maximize the value of their operations.Mission has roughly $175 million in debt, including $104 million outstanding under a first lien secured term loan and $71 million outstanding under a second lien secured term loan. As of Sunday, the company’s total cash balance is about $55,000, and does “not have readily available sources of additional financing,” according to the filing.The company said an asset sale through the Chapter 11 process will maximize the ultimate realized value for its stakeholders and its aim is to “conclude negotiations with all key stakeholders, propose a Chapter 11 plan with the support of as many of [the] other stakeholders and creditors as possible, and comply with milestones provided in … debtor-in-possession financing to expeditiously and efficiently execute a sale of Mission Coal’s assets.”More ($): U.S. coal miner Mission Coal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcylast_img read more

Staffordshire edge in front in Boys title chase

first_img29 Aug 2013 Staffordshire edge in front in Boys title chase Staffordshire have put themselves into pole position in the chase for the Boys County Championship after winning all three foursomes at Kedleston Park this morning. They now have 12 game points, one better than Yorkshire, who took a 2-1 lead over Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands.With all four counties having one win to their credit from the previous two days, making a mark in the foursomes was vital and Staffordshire did just that.Their boy international Robert Burlison and Cameron Long led the way but they were given a tough fight by Devon’s Jacob Tinsley and Robbie Thompson. The Midlanders won three of the first four holes, two with birdies but they were hauled back and it was anyone’s game with two to play.But pars from Burlison and Cameron on 17 and 18 proved enough to seal a 2-hole victory.Daniel Sutton and Gianmarco Petrozzi proved too good for Devon’s Danny Guy and James Thompson, who dropped too many shots and slipped to a 5&3 defeat, while the bottom game was a see-saw affair although Staffordshire generally held sway.Their pairing of Peter Booker and Harrison Quirk (image © Leaderboard Photography) built a 3-up lead by the turn and increased it to four on the tenth. But Devon’s Harry Konig and Ollie Cowl won three of the next four holes to get to 1-down only for Staffordshire to win the 15th with a par.At dormie two, both pairs found the trees on the long 17th but Cowl played a superb recovery to the green which enabled Devon to win the hole.But they conceded the 18th after Cowl’s approach to the last flew through the green and they failed to get down in two more and conceded the home and the match by 2-holes.Still smarting after the previous day’s defeat to Devon, Yorkshire were looking to repair the damage this morning and were given a solid start by Ben Brewster and Kealan Lowe in the top game who beat Hampshire’s Ryan Harmer and Josh Oddy 5&4.Hampshire replied through Billy Watson and Tom Farrow-Smith who were locked in a tight tussle with Jonathan Thomson and Jack Kelley before the south east champions won the 13th with a birdie at the 16th with a par before closing out a 2&1 victory.In the other game, Jordan Sundborg and Mason Banger built a 2-hole lead for Hampshire through five holes against Ben Hutchinson and Sam Wilkinson. But the Yorkshire pair was all square by the turn, went ahead with a par on the short 11th, increased it at 14 with a par and, despite losing the short 16th to a par, won the last for a 2-hole victory.last_img read more

Four Area Towns Get Low-Cost FEMA Loans

first_imgLoans cannot exceed 50 percent of a jurisdiction’s operating budget for the year in which the disaster occurs. The maximum loan is $5 million. Jurisdictions must demonstrate the need for assistance to perform government functions. The term is five years but can be extended to 10 years if the applicant chooses. Interest on the loans equals the rate for five-year maturities determined by the U.S. Secretary of 
the Treasury on the day the note is executed.In response to Super Storm Sandy, Congress allocated additional funds to the Disaster Assistance
Direct Loan Program Account. At the request of Gov. Chris Christie, FEMA activated the program 
in New Jersey.“Community Disaster Loans are based on need to bridge the revenue gap so local governments are 
able to continue to operate after a disaster,” FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Gracia Szczech said. “Loans are for local government operating expenses such as salaries of police, firefighters and teachers while the community recovers.”The loans cannot be used as a cost share for any federal grants or for capital projects. The area jurisdictions receiving loans are:Borough of Atlantic Highlands, $2,108,876;Borough of Little Silver, $1,829,324;Borough of Oceanport, $1,154,931;Borough of Sea Bright, $1,297,273; and TRENTON – Four Two-River area municipalities have received funding from Community Disaster Loans through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).The low-interest loan program helps eligible jurisdictions that have suffered substantial revenue losses from a major disaster to 
perform their governmental functions.last_img read more

Saints clinch BCIHL title go from cellar to penthouse in one season

first_img“We had a 42-16 advantage in shots on goal and could have had a few more goals.”(Eastern goalie Jason) Greenwell was very good in net for Eastern and we weren’t great in terms of finishing plays. But overall it was a very strong team effort and a good bounce-back from a poor performance last weekend.”Kam Crawford opened the scoring for the Saints on the power-play midway through the first period when his wrist shot from the point found its way through a screen and past Greenwell.And the hosts doubled their lead four minutes on a similar play, this time with Dylan Smith wristing home from high in the slot with the man-advantage. Eastern replied before intermission, however, as Eagles captain Bret Kellogg’s nifty redirect of a Zach Maxwell point shot beat Saints starter Alex Sirard. The teams traded chances throughout the second, but the period remained scoreless until Connor McLaughlin slammed home a Crawford rebound on yet another Saints power-play with just five seconds remaining in the frame. The goal came just a handful of seconds after Sirard made a breakaway save on Ryan Pajimola with a chance for EWU to tie the game. Sirard maintained his perfect record and picked up his 11th win on the season with a 14-save effort. Greenwell was unlucky to take the loss following a 39-save performance. Crawford, McLaughlin and Cody Fidgett all picked up two points on the night, while Jordan Wood picked up an assist and now holds a 6-point lead over linemate Logan Proulx stop the league scoring charts.Sunday, Eastern snapped a 1-1 tie with four unanswered goals to rout the Saints. The final two markers came on speical teams, one power play and one shorthanded.Selkirk is back in action with a two-game road trip.The Saints meet TRU Friday in Kamloops before meeting SFU Saturday in Burnaby.Selkirk concludes the regular season with a home-and-home series against Eastern Washington.The first round of the playoffs are schedule for March 8-10.Eastern and UVIC are currently tied for the fourth playoff spot, each with 17 points. The Selkirk College Saints clinched its first B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season title by splitting a pair of weekend games with Eastern Washington University.The title completes a worst-to-first season for the Saints, who finished dead last in 2012.The Saints opened the weekend by edging out the Eagles 3-2 Saturday at the Castlegar Rec Complex.The two points, coupled with SFU’s 4-2 loss to Trinity Western, assures the Saints no worse than a tie atop the standings and secured first place based on the league’s tie-breaking formula.Selkirk has 36 points with five regular season games remaining while Simon Fraser sit four points back with two games yet to play.Sunday, Selkirk lost 5-1 to Eastern Washington.”There are games where the score probably doesn’t represent the run of play and this was one of those,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois after Selkirk’s one-goal win at home Saturday.last_img read more

Former Neptune swimmer Jordan Andrusak verbally commits to NCAA university

first_imgAndrusak earned personal best in the 400m Individual Medley.At the SwimBC AAA Championships in March, Andrusak qualified for A finals in the 200m breaststroke and 200/400m Individual Medley, and B finals in the 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke, and 100m breaststroke.Andrusak was a star with the Neptunes Summer Swim Club before moving to Victoria in 2014 to pursue swimming.Andrusak was selected for Team BC for a third straight year, training out of Victoria Commonwealth Pool with Pacific Coast swimming Club.Andrusak is considered to be a mid-distance swimmer who specializes in the individual medley (200 IM and 400 IM) but also strong in individual events including breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.The Neptunes recently completed a great season on the Kootenay Summer Swim Association circuit despite not having a home pool for training.Now that the NDCC Aquatic Centre has completed renovations, the Neptunes have already started its winter swim program.Bowling Green University, located 24 kilometers south of Toledo, Ohio, in Bowling Green, is a NCAA Division One member that competes in the Mid-American Conference. Former Nelson Neptune swimmer Jordan Andrusak is ready to take the next step in an exceptional career in the pool after making a verbal commitment to the NCAA.Andrusak, now swimming for Pacific Coast Swimming in Victoria, recently committed to Bowling Green State University for 2017-18.“Jordan made a great connection with [head coach] Matt [Ense] and his program and is looking forward to being a Falcon for the next four years,” said father Greg Andrusak.Andrusak specializes in IM and breaststroke, although she has a strong freestyle as well. At the Canadian Swimming Championships in Edmonton this past August, Andrusak competed in the 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly, 200m Individual Medley, and 400m Individual Medley, qualifying for finals in all events except 200m butterfly.last_img read more

SA swimmers shine at World Champs

first_imgSouth Africa finished 14th on the medal table and, taking the considerable number of African records established by the team into account, they deserve to feel satisfied with the results they achieved. Competing in his favoured 50-metre event, Van der Burgh established another championship record in the heats when he touched in the fastest time of 26.92 seconds. In the semi-finals, the South African star was once again the fastest man in the water. He also won in a world record time of 26.74 seconds. Swimming World Cup overall winner Chad Ho secured a medal for the SA team before the pool events began when he captured South Africa’s first ever open water swimming medal at the World Championships – a bronze – in the five-kilometre race, in the early days of the 17-day programme. While South Africa had gone throughout the entire Olympic programme in Beijing in 2008 without claiming a swimming medal, they didn’t have to wait long to pick one up in Rome. “It is just amazing to be a world champion,” Van der Burgh said afterwards. “I am just so happy as this is the biggest day in my life.” Zandberg was competing as the defending champion in the backstroke sprint on Sunday, but with the introduction of high-tech swimsuits, the landscape had changed significantly since he won the world title in Melbourne in 2007. Then, in the medal deciding race, Zandberg improved significantly on his earlier swims. He clocked 24.34 seconds to secure third place comfortably. Great Britain’s Liam Tancock won gold in a world record time of 24.04, with Japan’s Junya Koga taking silver in 24.24. The undoubted star of South Africa’s team was Zandberg’s roommate, Cameron van der Burgh. Previously, in November 2008, he claimed the men’s overall title in the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup. During the course of the series he broke three short-course world records, including setting new marks at 50 and 100 metres. With the medals on the line, Van der Burgh enjoyed the best start in the field and raced away to victory in yet another world record time of 26.67. Brazil’s Felipe Franca Silva was second in 26.76, with the USA’s Mark Gangloff taking third place. 59-second barrier The 50 metres breaststroke star contested the 100 metres before he took part in his favourite event. He was ninth-fastest in the opening qualifying round in a time of 59.54 that included a championship record 27.41 seconds for the first 50 metres. Star of the team In the final, he had to settle for third, but he broke the 59-second barrier for the first time, touching the wall in 58.95. Australia’s Brenton Rickard won in a world record 58.58 seconds, with Hugues Duboscq of Canada second in 58.64. Gerhard Zandberg came third in the 50 metres backstroke on the final day of the 13th Fina World Championships in Rome as Team South Africa completed a haul of one gold medal, three bronze medals and 21 continental records at the event. Van der Burgh was even faster in the semi-finals, swimming a championship record 27.38 over the first 50 metres as he recorded the second-fastest time of 59.13 seconds. African recordHowever, he was seventh fastest after the qualifying heats in an African record of 24.68 seconds. That left Zandberg 0.19 seconds off the pace set by Brazil’s Guido Guilherme. Later, interviewed on radio station SAfm, he likened winning the world title to being in love with a beautiful woman. World record win Open water medal In the semi-finals, he equalled his recently established continental record with another time of 24.68, which was good for the sixth-fastest qualifying time for the final. 3 August 2009 Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Energy-Efficient Stocking Stuffers and More

first_img4. Electroluminescent night lightWhen I covered these little devices before there was just one company making them: LimeLite Technologies. Today there are at least several others. These plug-in night lights use only trickle of electricity (about 2¢ worth per year, according to LimeLite), but provide a soft glow at night (a photosensor turns it off in the daytime). The cost is about $5, though you may find them sold in two packs for not much more. Lots of companies buy them in bulk, printed with their logos and give them away as premiums. 7. Smart phone app that encourages you to walk moreI don’t have one of these apps, but I have some friends who use them religiously, and the devices have changed their lives by encouraging them to walk more. I guess for some people that competitive drive — how many miles did I walk this week? — makes a huge difference. And if that what makes the difference, go for it.These apps use GPS features of smart phones to measure how far you’ve walked, run, or bicycled, including elevation gain, etc., as long as you have the phone on your belt or in your pocket. Among the leading apps for iPhone are MapMyWalk, Pedometer PRO, Walkmeter, and RunKeeper. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other similar apps for iPhone and Android phones. Most cost a few dollars or are free — though I suspect the free ones remind you about upgrades with annoying frequency. 3. Smart power stripAlong with measuring the phantom electric loads from televisions and stereo equipment, you can do something about it by installing a smart power strip that turns off selected circuits either when an occupancy sensor senses that no one is present or after a period of inactivity, as indicated by lower current draw (say from a DVD player). There are a number of these devices on the market. I just bought a TrickleStar power strip at a sale price of $25. There’s also the SmartStrip LCG3, the Take Charge Power Saver Smart Strip, the Belkin Conserve Socket, and the WattStopper Isolé Power Strip with Personal Sensor, to mention a few. These products also include surge protection. 9. Cargo bikeCargo bikes are cool. I love the idea of being able to use a bike to haul groceries, pick up kids at school, even help your friends move. There has been a veritable explosion of interest in cargo bikes, with more than a dozen manufacturers now offering them in the U.S. As with a lot of cool stuff, the modern incarnation of this trend came here Europe — especially Holland and Denmark. But a sizeable player remains Worksman Cycles in Queens, New York — the oldest continually operating bicycle manufacturer in the country (founded in 1898, during the first utility bike boom).Brattleboro’s Specialized Sports recently started carrying Yuba cargo bikes, and a recent transplant to town, Dave Cohen, helped to launch the cargo bike revolution in Berkeley in the early 1990s, when he started the worker cooperative Ped-Ex (later to change its name to Pedal Express when threatened with a lawsuit from another delivery company with a similar-sounding name that must have been worried about losing business to the bikes.) A lot of carbo bikes, including Yuba products, are available with battery-powered electric booster motors. 1. LED light bulbEvery time I turn around, it seems, I see another LED light bulb. Among the screw-in replacement lamps, there are many good products — but also some that aren’t so good. Look for products from a reputable manufacturer (a company that’s been around for a while), and select a product that carries an Energy Star label. The most common problem with LED lamps is failure due to poor heat management; I’ve had products fail after less than a year.My latest LED lamp purchase — a Philips EnduraLED 12.5-watt lamp that replaces a 60-watt incandescent light bulb — seems like a real winner. It sells for about $25, but you will sometimes find them on sale for less. 6. Programmable thermostatFor people with standard gas- or oil-fired forced-air or hydronic heat, a properly operated programmable thermostat can save hundreds of dollars of energy per year. The key here is “properly operated.” Studies have shown that most programmable thermostats don’t save energy because the homeowners don’t know how to use them. Take the time to figure it out, and program it properly. A few minutes of set-up could buy several elegant dinners per year. Typical costs are $50 to $100. 5. Low-flow showerheadI know, it sounds boring, but a pleasing shower that saves water means money in the pocket. Expect to spend about $25 for a really good 1.5 gallon-per-minute showerhead. I’ve used a Delta H2Okinetic model for five or six years in our rural home with low (and fluctuating) water pressure. It delivers just 1.5 gpm at 60 psi — I measured about 1.4 gpm at our house, and we love it. Delta reengineered the showerhead to produce large drops (that retain heat) and deliver them at high pressure.center_img I’m not a big shopper. I don’t even particularly like getting presents. Our society is just too much about consumption. Nonetheless, as I’ve done on occasion in the past, I’m providing below some Christmas shopping ideas. 8. Public transit passesAs an easy gift to employees that helps the planet, not much beats transit passes — as long as there’s a public transit option where the passes can be used. When I’ve lived in a place where I could use public transit regularly, I loved the chance to read the paper (today it would probably be an iPad), avoid traffic congestion, and skip the parking hassle. 2. Kill-a-Watt meterThis has been on my Christmas list before. It’s a gadget that lets you measure the electrical consumption of plug-in appliances, equipment, and other devices. It can help us sleuth out hidden stand-by (phantom or vampire) losses — the power draw from a television that’s turned off or a WiFi router that’s on 24-7.I have several Kill-a-Watt meters and regularly lend them to friends. The cost is about $20. Note that it doesn’t work for hard-wired appliances like most dishwashers or 220-volt products. 10. Donate to a good cause in the name of friends and familyThe final gift idea is not a product at all, but rather donating to a cause that will give you and the recipients of your generosity a sense of satisfaction. There are thousands of good causes related to energy and the environment — from national organizations like the Rocky Mountain Institute, to regional groups like the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, to local initiatives like Windham and Windsor Housing Trust and Co-op Power of Southern Vermont. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also recently created the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

Can We Trust First-Generation Autonomous Driving AI?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Frank Landman AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Depending on whether you ask a technological optimist or pessimist, we might see early versions of consumer-ready self-driving vehicles in the next few years, or not for another couple of decades. But no matter where you fall on that spectrum, it’s likely that the first generation of autonomous driving AI will be ferrying people around within your lifetime.As an AI enthusiast, you’re likely frightened or excited by this thought. The techie consumer in you is likely thrilled by the idea of commuting to work hands-free thanks to your robotic autopilot, or taking a nap on a long road trip. But the skeptical coder in you might be worried that simple regression and pattern recognition algorithms may not be enough to keep you truly safe.Plus, there’s the universal pattern of software (and tech) development that usually unfolds; the first generation of a given tech product is usually terrible, due to rushed schedules or an inability to foresee future issues.So is it smart to trust first-generation self-driving vehicles?The MarketplaceFirst, you might consider the economics of your decision. A first-generation self-driving car is going to be far more expensive than later generations of the same technology, and probably far more expensive than a manually driven alternative. In just a few years after the initial release, you’ll probably be able to find a much better deal on a used self-driving car on a marketplace like Swap Motors. For that reason alone, it may be a better idea to wait for subsequent generations of autonomous vehicles.The RushWe also have to consider the competitive rush most companies are in. Consider the internal memos leaked from within Uber, where former Uber executive Anthony Levandowski is quoted as saying, “we need to think through the strategy to take all the shortcuts we can find,” and “I just see this as a race and we need to win, second place is the first looser [sic].”A few months after those documents were released, an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian—the first fatal accident attributable to an autonomous vehicle. If companies are so hell-bent on being the first to get to market, they’re likely to cut corners and neglect the QA testing that all AI needs to be consistently successful.Laws and RegulationsThankfully, there are safeguards in place. Autonomous vehicle laws vary by state, but currently, no fully autonomous vehicles are allowed on American roadways. Most states allow for some kind of limited self-driving car features, or self-driving car testing, but lawmakers are cautious not to expose consumers to any more risks than necessary. Should this attitude continue, it may be enough to counteract executives’ push to get cars to market as quickly as possible; automakers will have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that their AI is capable of safely transporting passengers.When First-Generation Is Second-GenerationBy the time we get a fully functional, consumer-ready self-driving car, developers will have already had many years to perfect their algorithms and test them out in live environments. Consider the fact that Waymo has been testing its vehicle since 2009, and in that span of time its fleet has driven more than 7 million miles—a length that would take an average driver 300 years to finish. In addition to that, Waymo is testing its cars virtually, with more than 2.7 billion virtual test miles in 2017 alone.Taking this into consideration, the “first” generation you have access to could be more appropriately described as the second generation of autonomous vehicle.The BenefitsWe should also consider that even a suboptimal AI algorithm will probably be safer and more efficient than a comparable human driver. For example, there are more than 40,000 vehicular fatalities every year, and more than 90 percent of all traffic accidents are attributable to human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would prefer to wait until autonomous vehicles are twice as safe as human drivers until they’re fully allowed to drive on public streets. But even if they’re only 10 percent better than the average human driver, they could save 4,000 lives a year.Without intricate knowledge of the code responsible for piloting self-driving cars, you’ll have to use your assumptions and baseline judgments to decide whether or not to purchase a self-driving vehicle. There are certainly risks, compounded by the desperate eagerness of corporations to get autonomous vehicles on the road as fast as possible, but all it would take is a marginal increase in efficiency and safety to justify the jump. Keep learning and watching for new developments, and try to keep your overly optimistic and overly skeptical sides in balance before making the final call. AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themcenter_img Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts last_img read more