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first_imgEarlier this month, Mendoza College of Business seniors Mary Cornfield, Alisha Anderson and Caitlin Crommett launched BlueBucket, an organization that forms partnerships with restaurants to collect donations for local charities.“It had originally come up last semester, and then this semester, I’m in a class called Design & Entrepreneurship … so I’m working on BlueBucket in that class,” Cornfield said. “We keep getting positive feedback from customers and restaurants, so we thought we might as well try it out.”Restaurants participating in the program decide which items on their menu they want to list as BlueBucket items. Then, whenever a patron purchases one of the designated BlueBucket items, a portion of the price is donated to a charity chosen by the customer.Mary McGraw | The Observer “It’s nice to see something we’ve been doing in class actually make it into the community,” Cornfield said. “It’s nice knowing that the products we bring into market is actually helping charities raise money.”Anderson said the creators of the BlueBucket organization envisioned the program as a community-building agent, linking local restaurants and charities. She said BlueBucket is a different kind of fundraiser because of one key element.“BlueBucket is unique in that it incorporates the concept of consumer choice,” Andersen said. “There are lot of fundraising techniques out there — round-up, coin collection, credit card-point donations, etc. — but very few incorporate the idea of consumer choice.”However, the process of launching BlueBucket did not come without its challenges. Cornfield said they underestimated the difficulty of spreading the word about the organization, and Anderson said the process of getting restaurants on board with the program proved to be not as easy as they had predicted.“The BlueBucket concept seems obvious to us, yet to a customer that is walking into a restaurant, it is not so simple,” Andersen said. “We need to make sure the restaurants and their employees can effectively and clearly communicate the idea to the customer.”BlueBucket works exclusively with independent restaurants. Currently, there are five restaurants on board: Sassy’s, Indulgence, Rohr’s (at the Morris Inn), Rein Juicery and Thyme of Grace.Andersen said that from a charitable perspective, she hopes that BlueBucket serves as more than just a fundraiser for the charities involved.“We hope BlueBucket will be able to not only raise money for several extremely deserving local charities but also bring attention to the great work that they do and perhaps inspire community members to get more involved with such charities,” Andersen said.“From a restaurant perspective, we hope BlueBucket serves as a way for restaurants to appeal to millennials and the community at large,” she said.Tags: BlueBucket, mendoza college of businesslast_img read more

first_imgFarmers, entrepreneurs and policymakers — representing 13 different African nations from Mauritania to South Africa — visited the University of Georgia campus in Tifton to learn about farming practices, research and government programs supporting agriculture in Georgia.Sponsored by the U.S. Department of the State, the July 26 visit was part of a month-long tour providing the African leaders with information on “innovative and long-term strategies to make food more plentiful, available, safe and affordable.” The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, a state-funded business incubator that works to foster economic development in Georgia, hosted the delegation. Members of the center, UGA faculty, the staff of both U.S. Representative Austin Scott and Senator Johnny Isakson, a USDA researcher, and an official from the Georgia Department of Agriculture made presentations to the group. Center project manager Chris Chammoun discussed the center’s involvement in developing bio-fuels, aerial imaging technology and secondary markets for Georgia farmers. He cited blueberry juice as an emerging opportunity for the state’s number one fruit crop. Sarah Cook, the center’s special projects coordinator, spoke about the Center’s role in helping small processors reach the marketplace.UGA professor and Extension economist Nathan Smith explained the factors currently affecting farming’s economic outlook and the five p’s of Georgia agriculture: peaches, peanuts, pecans, pines and poultry. From the agricultural producers’ side, the economic downturn has not been all bad news, Smith said. The decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar has strengthened exports, and lower interest rates have helped reduce on-farm costs. However, the long view may not be as a rosy.“I believe, as an economist, that inflation is coming,” Smith said.George Vellidis, UGA professor of biological and agricultural engineering, outlined precision agriculture as a way to make farmers more competitive by providing them with information to make better decisions in the field. Along with other members of the UGA Precision Ag Team, Vellidis has worked to help farmers identify and manage field variability — parts of their fields, for example, that might hold extra water or nitrogen. With more detailed information about their land and their crops, farmers can use less fertilizer and less irrigation, decreasing their costs and increasing their profit margins. With production costs outstripping commodity prices, growing global competition and several of years of drought in Georgia, it is more important than ever for Georgia farmers to carefully manage their inputs, Vellidis said. He pointed to remote sensors already on the market that can transmit minute-by-minute information about nitrogen levels and irrigation directly from the field to a farmer’s computer or smart phone. Some among the African delegation raised the question of the need and expense to incorporate so much technology in farming, but Vellidis explained that commodity farmers in the U.S. needed this technology because of the size of their farms. Sophisticated information technology is not as necessary on small farms, where farmers have a more intimate knowledge of their fields.Precision agriculture is a mentality about efficiently utilizing resources that can be applied regardless of scale, Vellidis said.“Precision agriculture is a philosophy,” he said. Greg Fonsah, UGA fruit and vegetable economist, laid out the unique organization of the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the invaluable role that Extension plays in the success of agriculture in the state. Local agents bring cutting-edge research from the University of Georgia to farmers within their county. At the same time, UGA economists provide feasibility studies that allow farmers to receive loans to make improvements to their farm.“Our farmers trust our local Extension agents,” said Donnie Smith, director of the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness.After a presentation at Dr. Fonsah’s banana trials outside of the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, the trip to Tifton concluded with a tour of Rutland Farms and a quick snack of banana pudding and lemonade at the Rutland Famers Market. The trip to Tifton marked the end of the African delegation’s tour of U.S. agricultural facilities. “Thank for you saving the best for last,” Donnie Smith said to the group.last_img read more

first_imgJapan’s Yoshihide Suga was voted prime minister by parliament on Wednesday to become the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years, appointing a new cabinet that kept about half of the familiar faces from predecessor Shinzo Abe’s lineup.Suga, 71, Abe’s longtime right-hand man, has pledged to pursue many of Abe’s programmes, including his “Abenomics” economic strategy, and to forge ahead with structural reforms, including deregulation and shutting down bureaucratic turf battles.Abe, Japan’s longest-serving premier, resigned because of ill health after nearly eight years in office. Suga served under him in the pivotal post of chief cabinet secretary, acting as top government spokesman and coordinating policies. Suga, who won a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership race by a landslide on Monday, faces a plethora of challenges, including tackling COVID-19 while reviving a battered economy and dealing with a rapidly aging society.With little direct diplomatic experience, Suga must also cope with an intensifying U.S.-China confrontation, build ties with the winner of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election and try to keep Japan’s own relations with Beijing on track.About half of the new cabinet are carryovers from Abe’s administration. Only two are women and the average age, including Suga, is 60.Among those retaining their jobs are key players such as Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, along with Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, the youngest at 39. “It’s a ‘Continuity with a capital C’ cabinet,” said Jesper Koll, senior adviser to asset manager WisdomTree Investments.Abe’s younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, was handed the defence portfolio, while outgoing Defence Minister Taro Kono takes charge of administrative reform, a post he has held before.Yasutoshi Nishimura, Abe’s point man on COVID-19 response, remains economy minister, while Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama, the son of a politician to whom Suga looked up as his mentor, also retains his post.Rough Road Ahead?Katsunobu Kato, outgoing health minister and a close Suga ally, takes on the challenging post of chief cabinet secretary. He announced the cabinet lineup.Tomoya Masanao, head of investment firm PIMCO Japan, said Suga’s goal of a more digitalised society could widen the gap between rich and poor and would require political capital.”Abe’s administration built political capital for itself with loose monetary and fiscal policies, a balanced and skillful diplomacy with the United States and China, and implementation of flexible domestic politic,” he said. “The new administration, on the other hand, faces a rough road ahead.”In a move that resonates with voters, Suga has criticised Japan’s top three mobile phone carriers, NTT Docomo Inc , KDDI Corp and SoftBank Corp, saying they should return more money to the public and face more competition.He has said Japan may eventually need to raise its 10% sales tax to pay for social security, but not for the next decade.Clues as to whether and how Suga will push ahead with reforms could come from the lineup of government advisory panels such as the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, Koll said.”The ambition of Mr. Suga to speed up and reinvigorate the process (of reform) is absolutely clear, but the next layer of personnel will be interesting,” he said.Speculation has simmered that Suga might call a snap election for parliament’s lower house to take advantage of any rise in public support, although he has said handling the pandemic and reviving the economy were his top priorities.Topics :last_img read more

first_imgThose over 65 who sell their family home can contribute $300,000 of the profit into their superannuation from July 1. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett. QUEENSLAND Queensland has the biggest number of changes impacting the property sector this new financial year.In a bid to cash in on the massive surge in foreign buyers, the Palaszczuk Government put in place an Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty (AFAD) — basically a transfer tax applying to foreign purchasers of Queensland property. From July 1, the tax will rise from the current 3 per cent to 7 per cent. The duty applies to foreign individuals, corporations and trusts.A new land tax category for holdings over $10m also comes into force July 1, which will see individuals charged 2.25 per cent on their holdings, while trusts, companies or absentee landholders would be charged 2.5 per cent.A waste disposal levy of $70 per tonne will also add to costs, according to the Property Council.The Queensland First Home Owners’ Grant also decreases by $5,000 to $15,000 for new build homes from July 1.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago Inside Gold Coast’s most expensive rental AFL legend sells Coast home Buyer quick to snap up $500K town Data collated by Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions expected to see good news for regional parts of the Sunshine State come July, with electricity bills set to go down. Residential customers were generally expected to see a 1.3 per cent drop while business ones were to get 3.4 per cent. Apparently in South East Queensland, Origin Energy had committed to cutting electricity bills by 1.8 per cent. Council rates were also expected to rise, with QEAS expecting Brisbane to rise 2.5 per cent, Gold Coast 1.7 per cent, Sunshine Coast 3.5 per cent, Moreton Bay 2.9 per cent, Ipswich 3 per cent and Cairns 1.7 per cent.Utility costs were also expected to rise, QEAS said, up 2 per cent in Greater Brisbane via Queensland Urban Utilities, 0.6 per cent in Sunshine Coast and Noosa and 0.5 per cent in Moreton Bay via Unity Water. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality LevelsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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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 Rate1xFullscreen00:00 Bulk water costs in water and sewerage bill were also set to rise with SEQ council areas to hit $3.12 per kilolitre by July 1, 2020. Places where costs were lower can expect to see annual rises in the region of 6 per cent for the Sunshine Coast and Noosa, 7.3 per cent for Redland, and 3.5 per cent for all other SEQ councils annually “until they reach that price”, according to QEAS’ director Nick Behrens. NEW SOUTH WALES Come July 1, eConveyancing will replace paper and manual processes in property transactions in NSW. “All stand-alone transfers and caveats must be lodged electronically from this date,” according to the Property Council. Local Infrastructure Levy caps will be increased to $40,000 for greenfield areas and $30,000 for infill areas not funded by the Local Infrastructure Growth Scheme. SOUTH AUSTRALIA The state’s off-the-plan stamp duty concession measure ends on June 30, 2018.As well SA enters the final phase of the full abolition of commercial stamp duty. ACT Stamp duty will be abolished for first home buyers who earn less than $160,000 for new or existing homes.It will coincide with the abolition of first home buyers grant. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Anyone buying new houses, units or subdivided land will have to ensure they pay the GST element of the transaction direct to the ATO and not to the developer.BIG changes are afoot in the property market starting July 1 — and here’s your quick guide to it all from buyers collecting tax for ATO to higher land taxes. FEDERAL GST The biggest change starting July 1 is that buyers of new houses, units or residential land blocks effectively become tax collectors for the government, that is, they become responsible for paying the GST element of their deal direct to ATO.Shoddy developers who “phoenix” have caused the change, according to the Property Council of Australia — “phoenixing” is when a person starts a new company doing the same business after deliberately liquidating another company to avoid paying its debts including taxes.Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said “under this change, buyers of new residential properties or subdivision of potential residential land will be responsible for remitting the GST amount to the ATO on or before settlement”. Inside absurd $250m mansion Tide has turned for Brisbane units Brisbane to lead housing growth “Previously, this was done by the developer. The overwhelming majority did the right thing and passed the GST they collected through to the ATO, but this measure has been introduced to deal with the minority who didn’t through so-called ‘phoenixing’,” he said.This change is best discussed with a solicitor or settlement agent, and the federal government has a contingency plan for people who bought their new property before July 1 but will settle after it. Super contribution Another big federal change, Mr Morrison said, was that those aged 65 or over would from July 1 be able to pay $300,000 from the sale of the family home into superannuation accounts. Super first home voluntary contribution Individuals making voluntary contributions into superannuation for their first home deposit will be able to access that from July 1. The savings measure started a year ago with a limit of $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 in total for a property.last_img read more

first_imgLAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – A Lawrenceburg woman is facing multiple felony charges on suspicion of selling prescription pills out of her home daycare.42-year-old Adrienne Struckman was arrested and charged with four counts of dealing a controlled substance, one charge of neglect of a dependent and one charge of reckless supervision by a child care provider.Investigators say they were informed in July that Struckman was selling the drugs from the home in the 15800 block of Elizabeth Drive in Lawrenceburg.Court documents show an undercover officer bought hydrocodone and clonazepam from Struckman on four different occasions between August 5 and September 4.Between four and six children, all under the age of 18, were present at the daycare during each controlled buy, authorities said.Struckman was booked into the Dearborn County Jail on Wednesday, November 26.last_img read more