5 additional deaths, more than 100 new cases reported by ISDH

first_img Google+ This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML) In its biggest single day leap yet Indiana added more deaths from COVID-19 and more than 100 new confirmed cases. The numbers of deaths in the Hoosier state is now up to 12 from the 7 reported on Monday. The latest numbers show Elkhart and LaPorte Counties unchanged, but St. Joseph County with 15. However, a release from the St. Joseph County Health department yesterday identified 17 cases. Marion County continues to report the most cases now with 161.The full release is below:INDIANAPOLIS —The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today reported 107 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 365 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. Twelve Hoosiers have died.A total of 2,931 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 1,960 on Monday.Marion County had the most new cases, at 51. The complete list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence. Private lab reporting may be delayed and will be reflected in the map and count when results are received at ISDH.The dashboard also has been updated to remove a previously counted case in Hancock County that was erroneously reported to ISDH as a positive and to shift the county of residence for three others, giving Brown County its first case, moving one case from Hancock to Hamilton County and moving a Wayne County case to Fayette County.Additional updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak may be provided later today.You can find the latest map from ISDH here Facebook WhatsApp Twitter By Carl Stutsman – March 24, 2020 0 339 5 additional deaths, more than 100 new cases reported by ISDH Twitter Pinterest Previous articleIndiana ranks low in states taking action against COVID-19Next articleREAL Services providing resources to elderly during coronavirus pandemic Carl Stutsman Pinterest WhatsApp CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Facebook Google+last_img read more

Men with prostate cancer more likely to die from other causes

first_imgMen diagnosed with prostate cancer are less likely to die from the disease than from largely preventable conditions such as heart disease, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). It is the largest study to date that looks at causes of death among men with prostate cancer, and suggests that encouraging healthy lifestyle changes should play an important role in prostate cancer management.“Our results are relevant for several million men living with prostate cancer in the United States,” said first author Mara Epstein, a postdoctoral researcher at HSPH. “We hope this study will encourage physicians to use a prostate cancer diagnosis as a teachable moment to encourage a healthier lifestyle, which could improve the overall health of men with prostate cancer, increasing both the duration and quality of their life.”The study was published July 25, 2012 in the Advance Access online Journal of the National Cancer Institute.Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer, affecting one in six men during their lifetime. While incidence of prostate cancer has greatly increased in the United States, Sweden, and other Western countries in recent decades, the likelihood that a newly diagnosed man in these countries will die from the disease has declined. The researchers attribute this to the widespread use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which has resulted in a higher proportion of men diagnosed with lower-risk forms of the disease. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Michael Arden Takes On Merrily & More

first_img View Comments Date Set for Public Memorial to Doris RobertsA public memorial tribute will be held for Everybody Loves Raymond’s Doris Roberts on May 16 at 12:00 PM at Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre; general admission seating will be available to the public on a first come, first serve basis from 11:30 AM. Hosted by Ray Romano, a special performance will be given by Barbara Cook. Roberts passed away on April 17 aged 90; last seen on the Great White Way in 1978’s Cheaters, she made her debut in 1955’s The Time of Your Life.Rob Reiner Talks Princess Bride MusicalWay back in 2013, we reported that The Princess Bride musical was in the works. Rob Reiner helmed the beloved 1987 film version of the 1973 novel and Tony winner James Corden couldn’t help but ask the director about the project on The Late Late Show on May 10. “I think it lends itself,” said Reiner about the prospect of a stage adaptation, before informing Corden his dream role was probably not going to happen. Check out the video below; Corden is set to host Broadway’s biggest night on June 12. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Michael Arden Will Roll Along to L.A.Tony nominee Michael Arden will return to Los Angeles’ Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts as the 2016-17 artist in residence. The venue was the pre-Broadway home of Deaf West’s Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning revival of Spring Awakening, and next season, Arden will helm Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along and Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride. Also on tap is a staging of Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo from Deaf West, directed by Coy Middlebrook. Check out the full season here!Release Date Slated for Paint Your Wagon AlbumMiss out on the Encores! production of Paint Your Wagon last year? Never fear, Masterworks Broadway will release the cast recording of Lerner & Loewe’s classic, starring Keith Carradine, Justin Guarini and Alexandra Socha, on May 27. Set in the Gold Rush-happy America of 1853, the album features standards such as “They Call the Wind Maria,” “I Talk to the Trees,” and “Wand’rin’ Star.”Christine Dwyer Defies Gravity Once MoreFormer Elphaba Christine Dwyer went back into the green recently to perform “Defying Gravity” at the 2016 Hannover Messe opening ceremony. The annual convention drew an impressive crowd, including President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Check out her soaring take on the Wicked anthem below!center_img Michael Arden(Photo: Bruce Glikas)last_img read more

Oyster Bay Man Convicted Of Fatal DWI Hit-And-Run

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An Oyster Bay man was convicted Friday of driving drunk, causing a crash that killed a 59-year-old Hempstead man, fleeing the scene and trying to cover it up by having an accomplice set fire to his car.A Nassau County jury found Madi Grant guilty of second-degree manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of alcohol and drugs, driving without a license, arson and conspiracy.“This cowardly defendant was drunk and high when he crashed into an innocent driver… and left him to die as he fled the scene attempting to hide his crime,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.Prosecutors said the 35-year-old was driving home in a borrowed rental car after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at a strip club in Queens when he rear-ended a car driven by Sherman Richardson, an ironworker on his way to work at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2014.Richardson’s car veered off the road and into a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.Grant fled the scene, but a Good Samaritan followed him, authorities said. Grant lost the Good Samaritan by blowing red lights and stop signs in Amityville, according to investigators.The Good Samaritan called 911 and provided a description of Grant’s car, which Grant hired someone to set on fire to destroy the evidence, prosecutors said. The car was later found near the scene of the crash.Judge Robert McDonald will sentence Grant to up to 15 years in prison on April 14.last_img read more

Warning from trade groups: Proposed CFPB debt collection rules could snag credit unions

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » A loophole in the CFPB’s proposed debt collection rules could allow the agency to take action against credit unions even though the rules were not intended for those institutions, trade groups recently warned.The CFPB has said the controversial debt collection rules are intended for third-party debt collectors.However, trade groups are warning that a section of the rule would allow the CFPB to sanction any debt collector under the agency’s Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices.“Credit unions are not the type of debt collector the [law] intended to limit or prohibit from making contact with consumers,” NAFCU Regulatory Affairs Counsel Kaley Schafer wrote in a letter to the agency.last_img read more

Do This: Long Island Events December 4 – 10

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Book on Plum Island TalkGeoffrey Fleming and Amy Folk, the authors of the recently published A World Unto Itself: The Remarkable History of Plum Island, will discuss the long hidden history of this mysterious isle off the North Fork of Long Island. Beginning with the glacial origins of the island, the historians introduce readers to the fascinating chronicle that places the island in the broader context of American history, with an emphasis on the “Fort Terry years.” Plum Island is, as the authors emphasize, both a world unto itself and a microcosm of our world. Suffolk County Historical Society Museum, 300 West Main St., Riverhead. suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org $5. 6 p.m. Dec. 4.Triple DivideA revelatory film about fracking that came about as the result of a three-year investigation into government and industry data as well as firsthand testimony from affected Pennsylvania citizens and leaseholders. Come for the film, stay for refreshments and discussion with staff members of both New Yorkers Against Fracking and Food & Water Watch. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $6 members, $11 public. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Joe WalshNo rocker plays guitar like Joe Walsh. He’ll always be that hard-hitter with the blazing licks like the ones he laid down with the James Gang, when he made a name for himself with “Funk 49” in 1969. He’s recently updated that number with “Funk 50,” a tune from his first solo release in 20 years. Called Analog Man, his new album is produced by Jeff Lynne, who gave Electric Light Orchestra and The Traveling Wilburys their lush harmonies, intricate arrangements and dense sound. Over the years Joe sometimes flies with The Eagles but he’ll be winging it himself on LI. As his song titles say, “Life’s Been Good” for this anything but “Ordinary Average Guy.” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $50-$125. 8 p.m. Dec. 4.The Irish TenorsOh, Danny Boy! Twice a year, around St. Patrick’s Day and the Christmas Holidays, the Irish Tenors dazzle and delight audiences around the world with their musical performances. Since their debut in 1999 on PBS, these musical marvels have been charming fans with their signature Irish ballads and classics. Sing along with Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan as they bring their voices and their talents to LI as part of The Irish Holiday Tour. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$62.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 4.Hitler’s Secret Weapon: Media Marketing in the HolocaustLinda F. Burghardt, a journalist and author from Great Neck, tells the story of the multi-faceted assault on the Jews through mass communication—how it was powered, why it worked, how it was created and what it says about the media today. Using archival photos and artwork, she will explain how the media managed to turn ordinary citizens into Nazis and succeeded in selling the idea of genocide to the German people. Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center, Welwyn Preserve, 100 Crescent Beach Rd., Glen Cove. HMTCLI.org 10 a.m. Dec. 5.Dennis MillerCaustic, cerebral, and conservative Dennis Miller will take to the stage to enlighten and entertain audiences with his observational humor that will touch on all kinds of right-leaning political subjects. Try to keep up with the lightening speed of his tongue-thrashing. Bring your dictionary to decipher words he throws out that rarely see the light of day in academia, let alone comedy. Go along for the ride through the twists and turns or literary analogies, sweeping history, and scathing critique. This former NFL commentator might also talk some football. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $59.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 5.David Bromberg QuintetThe Godfather of Americana is touring to promote his new album, Only Slightly Mad, which was released in September. Fans will find blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs happily coexisting as they can only on a Bromberg album. Newcomers will be introduced to an astonishing performer whose range and musical depth have delighted audiences for more than 40 years. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $40-$70. 8 p.m. Dec. 5. Amor a Nuestra MusicaThis annual Spanish Broadcasting System show-stopping multi-act extravaganza will include Latin pop stars Luis Fonsi, Ricardo Montaner, Jesse & Joy, Gloria Trevi, Pablo Alborán and Natalia Jiménez, along with Dominican bachatero Frank Reyes. Yes, you will be singing! Yes, you and your family and loved ones will be dancing throughout the aisles of The Old Barn! Yes, it will be Laetificus! Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale. Nassaucoliseum.com $22.16-$115.15. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 5.19th Annual Dickens FestivalAn annual Village celebration of the author of A Christmas Carol, this holiday extravaganza features costumed characters, decorated streets and shops, Victorian entertainment and food. It kicks off with a festival of trees that includes ice-skating characters and giant snowmen at 7 p.m. Dec. 5, followed by a long list of caroling, performances and related events—even a gingerbread house contest before concluding in a Grand Final Parade! A full list of all programs can be found here portjeff.com/Dickens Mostly free. Dec. 5-7.Cinderella’s ChristmasThe most famous Disney princess of them all rings in the holiday season in a spectacular show of grace, skill and of course, magic beauty! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $14.50.12 p.m. Dec. 6.Cheyenne JacksonHis music of the Mad Men era was lauded by critics. The New York Daily News wrote, “Cheyenne Jackson has got it all and he showed it all: the voice, the moves, the quirky self-effacing humor. He gleamed like Don Draper’s Brylcreemed hair.” Wow! Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post Campus 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $53. 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Dec. 6.Mike EppsThis stand-up comedian, actor, rapper and producer from Indiana has generated a huge amount of buzz since his big-screen breakthrough as Day-Day in Next Friday. His HBO comedy special, Inappropriate Behavior, was one of the network’s top-rated, hour-long specials of 2005. Now, he’s taking his hilarious show on the road with The Mike Epps After Dark Tour. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$84.25. 8 p.m. Dec. 6.Medeski, Scofield, Martin & WoodThis avant-jazz-funk supergroup has been bending and twisting the very fabric of music ever since their formation in 1991, then consisting of John Medeski on keyboards and piano, Billy Martin on drums and percussion and Chris Wood on double bass and bass guitar. Jazz guitar/composer virtuoso John “Sco” Scofield joins them to further push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of aural enlightenment. Wowzler! Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $75-$115. 8 p.m. Dec. 6.Southside Johnny and the Asbury JukesLong regarded as the Godfather of the Jersey Shore Sound, John Lyon, better known by his stage name Southside Johnny, is an American original. Growing up in Ocean Grove and graduating from Neptune High, he followed in Bruce Springsteen’s shoes running down the boardwalk, hitting the high notes and laying it low with that bluesy soulfulness that only he can croon. It helped that Steven Van Zandt, the Boss’s compadre, penned Southside Johnny’s signature song, “I Don’t Want to Go Home.” And yes, that’s Southside and the Jukes performing as a bar band at the frat party in that action-packed classic Adventures in Babysitting. The guy’s been doing it right and working his ass off and we’re lucky to have him around keeping it real. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35-$65. 8 p.m. Dec. 6.CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas StoryCC Sabathia, the pitcher for the New York Yankees, and his son, Carsten, will talk about the MLB star’s new holiday-themed children’s book CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. Dec. 6.Mick JamesThe “undead” lead screamer/guitarist of his self-titled industrial/metal band makes his LI debut at this show organized by Rock N Ink, which includes tattoo vendors, giveaways, contests and models. Spike TV Ink Masters will also be in attendance. Warming up the crowd will be Tang and Fractured Smile. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville revolutionli.com $15. 5 p.m. Dec. 7.Celtic Thunder Christmas SymphonyA dynamic live music experience, accompanied by a full Symphony Orchestra and favorite holiday songs from their latest CD Holiday Symphony. The music selection ranges from traditional carols “Away in A Manger,” “Silent Night” to classical pieces, holiday staples and the more contemporary “Fairytale of New York.” What a way to usher in this special and magical holiday season! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$84.25. 7 p.m. Dec. 7.TantricTouring behind their 2013 firebomb 37 Channels and latest comp, Blue Room Archives, which dropped just this September, these Louisville, Kentucky hell-raisers know how to rock. The band stomps their own footprints on what music critics describe as “post-grunge,” melding acoustic guitars, distorted, sonically muddy and heavy electric guitar and multi-layered vocal harmonies. Think Days Of The New (from where their original drummer, bassist and guitarist came) meets Alice In Chains, minus, obviously, the sheer addictive dread that was the irreplicable Jerry Cantrell-Layne Staley chemistry. With The Royal Guard, Lubricoma and Logan’s Room. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $16 advance, $20 DOS. 8 p.m. Dec. 7.KornThe dark, seismic nu-metal ring of hell that is this band has been leveling audiences, topping charts and racking up Grammy nominations and Awards almost the moment founding members Jonathan Davis (vocals), James “Munky” Shaffer (guitar), Brian “Head” Welch (guitar), Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu (bass) and David Silveria (drums) began rehearsing together at a Huntington Beach, Calif. studio in 1993. They’ve influenced countless aspiring metal gods in thier wake, sold more than 35 million records to date, and bring all their infamous chaos, blackout noise and sheer, absolute fury to what will unquestionably be an absolutely insane performance at The Mountler. Don’t miss this gig! With Special Guest King 810. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $59.50-$99. 8 p.m. Dec. 8.The 1975What is it about that date that inspired this English indie rock band to name it and claim it? Reportedly they found 1975 scrawled inside a book and it stuck with them as they moved on—and caught on. The Guardian said they were “the breakout act of 2013” with their funk-pop and R&B updated for the 21st century. One thing’s for sure, 2014 has been a very good year for Matt Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel and Ross MacDonald, as these talented chums have played their biggest headline shows in the UK and their tour in the U.S. continues to gather steam.  Certainly Taylor Swift knows their number—or at least, she can reach lead singer Matt Healy’s private line whenever she likes. Sweet. With special guests CRUISR & Young Rising Sons. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$45. 8 p.m. Dec. 9.Adrian BelewQuick, who’s the world’s greatest experimental whammy twang bar czar lone rhino King Crimson stunt guitarist? The answer is: Yes, of course, Adrian Belew is all of those things and more. This amazing American multi-instrumentalist has been killing it on guitar for decades. How he started out back in Kentucky as a drummer in the Ludlow High School marching band and got to where he is today is a mythical story worthy of Homer. Belew claims he’s a creative force for the good of mankind, and god knows we need it. His unique career has taken him from Frank Zappa to Robert Fripp to David Bowie to Trent Reznor to who knows who’s next? What the Earth needs now is the music in this guy’s head. The Boulton Center, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. Dec. 10.Christina PerriThis 28-year-old singer/songwriter from Philly has got it all, in spades: sex appeal, attitude and talent. Her breakthrough came in 2010 when her torturously haunting single “Jar Of Hearts” was featured on an episode of So You Think You Can Dance, propelling the then-unsigned artists onto the top of the charts, and, into the hearts of millions of would-be fans. Its YouTube video (Watch Above) has since garnered nearly 140 million views. Yes, you read that correctly: 140 million (!!) views. Perri was launched into superstardom when her song “A Thousand Years” accompanied Edward and Bella in the first Twilight film. She credits much of her passion for music to her big brother Nick, who tooled off on guitar with everybody from Jane’s Addiction madman Perry Farrell to G&R’s skinman Matt Sorum. As legend goes, Perri learned to play by watching Blind Melon‘s Shannon Hoon (RIP) on a videotape of VH1. Known for her haunting lyrics and ethereal voice, she will undoubtedly knock out The Mountler at this intimate performance with powerful, moving songs from her second studio album Head or Heart, especially its debut hit single, “Human.” The question remains, however: Will she accompany Press music werewolf Zack Tirana for some satisfyingly dee-lishhh cold-slice pizza at Little Vincent’s, and perhaps a beer or two, in downtown Huntington, after the gig? Who the hell knows. Probably not, unfortunately. Actually, no shot at all. Never gonna happen. Really? None? Nada!? Well that sorta sucks, doesn’t it? Don’t miss this gig, part of her ongoing Head Or Heart Tour, regardless. With Special Guest Jukebox The Ghost. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$45. 8 p.m. Dec. 10.Bubba SparxxxThe country rapper from the backwoods of Georgia who burst on the scene in the early aughts with Ugly, featuring Timbaland, is touring to promote his fifth studio album, Made on McCosh Mill Road. Opening the show are Musick Medics, Decay The Savage, Alphamale and Rymiff & Jay Swiggy. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $18, $20 DOS. 8 p.m. Dec. 10.—Compiled by Spencer Rumsey, Jaime Franchi, Timothy Bolger & Zack Tiranalast_img read more

We must all work together to feed poor

first_imgLuckily, the Schenectady County Health and Equitable Food Action Plan provides an incredible blueprint for how we can work together to alleviate food insecurity.We have already had initial conversations with Trinity Reformed and Bellevue Reformed’s Little Food Pantry, but much more coordination of services can be done, both locally and with larger Schenectady County entities like Schenectady Inner City Ministry (SICM) and Concerned for the Hungry’s Food Providers Network.As we journey into a new year together, I pray everyone in our community will consider new ways to partner and strengthen our efforts to feed our hungry neighbors.Rev. Dustin G. WrightSchenectadyThe writer is pastor of the Messiah Lutheran Church.More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30% All too often we think of food insecurity as only something affecting rural and urban areas. Yet the face of hunger in America is quickly changing.In Rotterdam’s Mohonasen school district, for instance, about a third of students now receive free or reduced-cost lunches from the National School Lunch Program.In response to this need, we at Messiah Lutheran Church in Rotterdam opened the Bread of Life Food Pantry a bit over two years ago on Oct. 4, 2015.This ministry quickly grew to operate twice a month, serving roughly 130 meals in that time. Plans to expand our hours and facilities, as well as to provide skills building services like cooking classes or public speaking classes, are also in the works.Over the last two years, however, we realized that no individual congregation or organization can tackle the issue of food security in Rotterdam and other nearby communities alone. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

UK politicians up ante over pension funds and climate change, ESG

first_imgOpperman was writing to the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee, which is carrying out an inquiry into green finance. As part of this the committee is trying to develop an understanding of the approach UK pension funds are taking to environmental risks and, more generally, green finance. The UK government is considering requiring pension scheme trustees to have a policy for climate change, it revealed in a letter to a group of parliamentarians.Corporate governance is another area for which trustees could be required to have a specific policy.The requirements are one of several options for policy and regulation the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) is considering seeking feedback on in an upcoming consultation on pension funds and investments related to social or environmental considerations.The government had already committed to such a consultation in its response to a Law Commission report on pensions funds and social investment last year but the letter from Guy Opperman, pensions minister, revealed more about its thinking about what to consult on. Source: Chis McAndrewGuy Opperman, pensions minister, responded to questions from the Environmental Audit Committee in a letterAccording to the letter from Opperman, other options the government is considering consulting on include requiring trustees to evaluate how they intend to take account of financially material risks, and – when they revisit their statement of investment principles – to review how they ensured those considerations were taken into account.The department was also mulling consulting on requiring trustees to publish the statement of investment principles or make it available to all on request, and to tell members that it was available.Opperman said the DWP was planning to launch the consultation in May or June and that, rather than making small technical amendments, it wanted to introduce regulations “which are as effective as possible in delivering the right level and consideration by trustees”.Opperman also revealed the government was planning to shortly propose legislation that would require trustees of defined contribution (DC) occupational schemes to disclose on request the pooled funds in which members are invested, and to tell members annually that this information is available. This, said Opperman, would enable members “to identify and access other publicly available information about the policies of the investment managers in relation to voting, engagement, and sustainable and responsible investment.The DWP would also shortly propose legislation that would require disclosure of information about “the cost implications of churn” – turnover of assets – to DC pension scheme members, he said.‘Outright misunderstanding’ of fiduciary dutyIn his letter, Opperman said the government was aware of “relatively little robust research” on the way that pension funds interpret risks such as climate change but that “good practice appears to be far from universal”.Recent research had indicated that “a lack of attention and outright misunderstanding” of the scope of their fiduciary duty remained widespread among trustees.This was despite guidance on this from The Pensions Regulator.Opperman said there was broad scientific and public policy consensus that climate change was such a risk, so trustees had a duty to take account of it.“ A young person auto-enrolled on a pension today may be 45 years away from retirement. Over that timescale these climate change risks will inevitably grow.”Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee They had a duty to take account of any and all financially material risks, including where these emerged from environmental or social contexts.It was rare for there to be cases where no social or environmental considerations would be financially material, if at all, Opperman wrote in his letter.Subject to the outcome of the upcoming consultation, the government would bring forward legislation that “clarifies this point”, he indicated.Parliamentary committee probes pension fundsThe Environmental Audit Committee published Opperman’s letter when it today announced it had written to the 25 largest UK pension funds to ask how they manage the risks that climate change poses to pension savings.Mary Creagh, Labour chair of the committee said: “The climate change risks of tomorrow should be considered by pension funds today. A young person auto-enrolled on a pension today may be 45 years away from retirement. Over that timescale these climate change risks will inevitably grow.”The letter asks the pension fund trustees a range of questions, such as whether they accept that pension funds are potentially exposed to financial risks through climate change, what actions they had taken in response to climate change-related risks – if they had considered these –, and if they were planning to adopt recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures for their scheme’s reporting.The pension funds have been asked to respond by 28 March.Reactions – delight and dismayCommenting on the move by the committee of MPs, Luke Hildyard, policy lead for stewardship and corporate governance at the UK pension fund association, said: “Numerous credible commentators from institutions such as the Bank of England, Cambridge University and many leading financial services firms have highlighted the major economic impact of climate change and the serious long-term threat that it poses to pension funds’ investments.“It’s definitely an issue that trustees should be making time to discuss and seeking advice on.”Rachel Haworth, senior policy officer at campaign organisation ShareAction, welcomed that the Environmental Audit Committee was “taking decisive action to assess how far pension funds are taking account of climate risk”.“We applaud the government’s intention to introduce robust regulations that are as effective as possible in delivering the necessary changes,” she added.Others, however, pushed back against claims that trustees were misunderstanding their fiduciary duties. Rosalind Connor, partner at ARC Pensions Law said: “The widespread misunderstanding of trustees’ duties may extend to others involved in this debate.”She suggested that, often, statements about the need for trustees to understand their duty to invest in green assets for financial reasons were motivated by something else.“The concern that is really underpinning this is that trustees are not investing in a way that is good for the environment,” she said. “That is not the pension trustees’ duty under the present law.”She said it was because trustees understood their obligations that pension fund investment was not flowing into “greener” investments, not because they didn’t understand them.“If MPs want trustees to invest in more sustainable investments, they should investigate changing the law to make this a requirement. It is not accurate to blame the trustees when they are simply complying with their obligations.”The pensions minister’s letter can be found here.last_img read more

Linkenhoker leads the way in Virginia Sprint Series opener

first_imgAnthony Linkenhoker was the winner when the Virginia Sprint Series opened Saturday night at  Natural Bridge Speedway. (Photo by Jim Haines)By Jim HainesNATURAL BRIDGE, Va. (April 14) – Spring finally sprung for the Virginia Sprint Series and An­thony Linkenhoker sped to the IMCA RaceSaver victory Saturday at Natural Bridge Speedway.Mike Keeton challenged throughout in a contest that ran caution-free and ended in second. Daren Bo­lac was third in the series opener, postponed a week because of winter-like weather.Linkenhoker and Keeton paced the field to green with Linkenhoker out first, Keeton close behind and Tony Harris up to third. Bolac got by Harris and went after Keeton lap after lap, but the bot­tom was the place to be and he stayed there.Linkenhoker stayed smooth up front even as he caught the rear of the field and that was all he needed to do as he drove under the waving checkered flag.Next it’s back to Shenandoah Speedway on Saturday, April 21.Feature results – 1. Anthony Linkenhoker; 2. Mike Keeton; 3. Daren Bolac; 4. Tony Harris; 5. Tom Humphries; 6. Jerald Harris; 7. Bill Rice; 8. Jake Karklin; 9. Chris Ware; 10. Neil San­dridge.last_img read more