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Pieminister to launch new pies for the festival season

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first_imgFestival regulars Pieminister will once again be pitching their tent at this summer’s music festivals and is to launch three new pies in celebration of the season.Created in response to requests from existing customers, the pies are a take on British classics. They are Henny Pie – made with British free-range chicken, mushrooms, white wine cream and herbs; Beefy Shamrock Pie – a take on steak and Guinness using British beef steak; and the Moo & Blue Pie – made with British beef steak, red wine gravy and aged Stilton.The Bristol-based pie firm is to launch its newest additions at Glastonbury, which takes place from 26-28 June. Customers at the pie tent will also be able to try the ‘Pieminister mothership’ – any pie combined with mashed potato, minty peas and gravy and topped with cheddar cheese and onions. And one not for the faint-hearted is the Tower of Power – two pies, on a pile of mash topped with all the mothership trimmings.Pieminister uses only free range meat and sources locally wherever possible from farmers and producers in the west-country.last_img read more

ND physicist models brain’s network structure

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first_imgPerhaps social media websites like Facebook are always on our minds because our brains are structured in a way similar to these ubiquitous social networks. A recently published study by Notre Dame physics professor Zoltan Toroczkai on the fundamental wiring of the neurons that make up the complex structure of the brain suggests this may be the case. Toroczkai, an expert in the study of large-scale networks said he uses his unconventional background  as a physicist to investigate the structure and dynamics of a wide range of networks. “Social systems, such as Facebook, are an example complex networks,” Toroczkai said. “With technological advances we are even more connected, more information is flowing. “So you can think of the social network as another large network that evolves due to the information in it. From a top-level perspective, this is not different from what happens in the primate brain.” The challenge to Toroczkai lies in adapting the statistical methods of the physicist to interpreting and understanding the underlying phenomena in these systems.  “In the brain, the neurons can almost arbitrarily be connected, humans can almost arbitrarily be connected – the connections between real-world networks, such as social networks and neuronal networks, are not like the ones in a crystalline solid,” Toroczkai said. “They are much more complicated. So there is a challenge for a physicist to develop the methods that we use to study regular materials and apply them to different types of networks.” In his recent finding, Toroczkai said he collaborated with a group of researchers, including biologists from France, to analyze a wealth of data obtained from thorough retrograde tracing experiments on Macaque monkey cortexes. They injected a chemical dye into the brain of the monke, and after affew weeks, the tissues are dissected to reveal the path that the tracer took through the dense network of neurons, which allows one to make some sense of the structure, he said. “The primate brain has an extremely large number of elements,” Toroczkai said. “If you think about the neocortex, which is basically a couple-millimeter-thick sheet that is lining your brain, it’s about the size of a napkin in the typical primate brain. It’s very small, and yet it has about 100 billion neurons and they are not isolated. tThey are interconnected in a very complicated network-it is estimated that there are about 100 trillion connections in this area.” This complicated network in the cortex can be divided into 29 functional areas, such as those controlling motion and sensory perception, in order construct a model, Toroczkai said. In doing so, he said he noticed that certain patterns emerged from the data related to density of connections and distance.    “We said that this network should be subject to a physical constraint,” Toroczkai said. “I mean that when the brain develops, the neuron is growing these axons, and there’s a growth process that eventually stops. “The longer you want to grow, the more effort you have to put in. These neurons are grown chemically during development, so I said that there should be some sort of exponential cost-some grow long and some grow short. And the simplest model you could think of, if you’re a modeler, is exponential decay. And that’s exactly what it was. So we used this wiring along with the geometry of the cortex to come up with this simple model.” The result, Toroczkai said, was very surprising-the model turned out to be extremely simple, yet it largely explained much of the structural interconnectivity between the different functional areas of the cortex. “It has only one parameter, which you also get from the data, and you get a network that looks very much like the one in the brain,” he said. “It tells you that the large-scale network between the different areas of the brain can be explained by physical principles, based on entropic cost of wiring.” The next step in further elucidating the workings of the brain would be to look at dynamic processes, such as neuronal signaling and resulting behaviors, Toroczkai said. To that end, he said he will loos forward to future cross-disciplinary collaborations to which he can add his unconventional approaches and insights. “Here we had a collaboration between biologists and physicists,” Toroczkai said. “As a physicist our goal is usually to simplify a problem-to reduce it to the essential components. We are not looking for the differences between things in the world, we’re are looking for things that are common, invariant.” Contact Henry Gens at [email protected]last_img read more

Weed Killers.

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first_imgBasagran T/O (bentazon) controls yellow nut sedge and certain broadleaf weeds. It can be used over the top of many ground covers such as English ivy, liriope and pachysandra.Brush-B-Gon (triclopyr) controls woody plants. Paint it onto freshly cut stumps to prevent resprouting.Envoy (clethodim) controls a broad spectrum of actively growing grasses. It doesn’t control broadleaf weeds or sedges. It can be used over the top of broadleaf ornamentals.Finale (glufosinate) controls most emerged annual weeds. It doesn’t control perennial weeds well. Don’t allow the spray to contact foliage of actively growing, desirable plants.Manage (halosulfuron) is excellent at controlling yellow and purple nut sedges. It must be applied directly to the sedges without contacting desirable ornamentals.Ornamec and Grass-B-Gon (fluazifop) control a broad spectrum of actively growing grasses. They don’t control broadleaf weeds or sedges. They can be used over the top of broadleaf ornamentals.Reward and many others (diquat) control most emerged annual weeds. They don’t control perennial weeds well. They provide visual control of weeds quickly. Don’t allow the spray to contact the foliage of actively growing, desirable plants.Roundup and others (glyphosate), in many formulations, control most actively growing weeds. It may take 10 to 14 days, but they provide excellent control of perennial weeds (but no pre-emergent control). Don’t allow the spray to contact the foliage of actively growing, desirable plants.Scythe and others (potassium salts of fatty acids) provides contact control of actively growing weeds. Don’t allow the spray to contact the foliage of actively growing, desirable plants.Vantage (sethoxydim) controls many actively growing grasses. It doesn’t control broadleaf weeds or sedges. It can be used over the top of broadleaf ornamentals. You’ve tried removing weeds by hand and preventing them with mulches and landscape fabrics. Your last line of defense is chemical control.If you’re not opposed to using herbicides, a large array of them are available. In fact, so many are on the garden center shelves that many people get confused.Much of the confusion comes from the fact that many herbicides are no longer patented, so any company that wants to can sell them. Some of the many brands you might recognize are Ortho, Spectracide, Bonide, Dragon, Hi-Yield and Acme. As if that weren’t enough, most herbicides, but not all, come in both granular and sprayable forms.Think ‘Active Ingredients’If you keep track of the name and percentage of active ingredients, you can shop around among brands to get the best buy.There’s no difference in the active ingredients except the percentage and possibly the formulation. The diquat in a Ortho product is the same diquat in a Spectracide brand.That doesn’t mean all products are the same. Some sprays have different surfactants or wetting agents. And different materials in granular forms can affect the herbicide release rate. These factors can affect a brand’s ability to control weeds.More Herbicide TermsOther herbicide terms to keep clear are selective, nonselective, pre-emergent and postemergent.If a herbicide is selective, it will control some plant species and not others. Ornamec, for example, controls only grasses. A nonselective herbicide controls any vegetation that it is applied to. A good example is Roundup, which can kill any plant it comes in contact with.Pre-emergent herbicides control weeds that originate from seed and haven’t yet germinated. They rarely work on perennial weeds that germinate from bulbs, corms, rhizomes, stolons or other vegetative structures.Their active ingredients include dichlobenil, prodiamine, isoxaben, pendimethalin, metolachlor, trifluralin, simazine, oxadiazon and oryzalin. Some control only a few tough weeds. Most control various ranges of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds.Postemergent herbicides’ active ingredients include bentazon, triclopyr, clethodim, glufosinate, halosulfuron, fluazifop, diquat, glyphosate, sethoxydim or potassium salts of fatty acids.These products generally control actively growing grasses or other emerged annual weeds, including tough weeds like purple and yellow nut sedge and some woody plants.A few products can be both pre- and postemergent.Mode-of-ActionMode-of-action is a term homeowners probably won’t see but should be aware of. A herbicide’s MOA, or the specific way it works, is usually understood, but now always.For example, glyphosate (Roundup) makes plants unable to make key proteins and enzymes, so they starve to death. But we don’t fully understand how dichlobenil (Casoron or Norosac) works.There are many restrictions on the uses of both pre- and postemergent herbicides. Some can be applied over the top of actively growing ornamentals, for instance, and some can’t.Follow DirectionsFor this reason, it’s wise to read the directions provided with the herbicide. Precisely following the label can keep you from damaging landscape plants or wasting costly herbicides.If you’re unsure about appropriate uses or have questions about herbicides, contact your county Extension Service agent.Here are some herbicides homeowners commonly use. They don’t require a licence when used on your own property. Their active ingredients can be sold alone or in combination with other herbicides.Pre-emergent Herbicides Postemergent Herbicidescenter_img Casoron and Norosac (dichlobenil) control many tough weeds, such as Florida betony and horsetails, in many established woody ornamentals. Use them only in the late fall, winter or early spring. They can provide postemergent control of some weedy plants.Factor, Barricade and others (prodiamine) control many annual grasses and small seeded broadleaf weeds.Gallery and others (isoxaben) control many annual broadleaf weeds. Isoxaben provides poor control of annual grasses but provide excellent pre-emergent control when mixed with other herbicides like Surflan.Pendulum (pendimethalin) controls many annual grasses and small seeded broadleaf weeds.Pennant (metolachlor) controls many annual grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds. Pennant provides some pre-emergent activity on yellow nut sedge.Preen and Treflan 5G (trifluralin), have a weed-control spectrum like that of Surflan. If possible, apply them before planting, under mulch, and incorporate into top 1 to 3 inches of soil.Princep (simazine) controls many annual grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds.Ronstar and others (oxadiazon) controls many annual grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds.Surflan (oryzalin) controls many annual grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds. Excellent tank-mixed with Roundup.last_img read more

Merchants Bancshares announces Q3 net income of $4.5 million

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first_img September 30, December 31, (In thousands) 2010 June 30, 2010 2009 ————- ————- ————-Commercial, financial and agricultural loans $ 100,638 $ 109,805 $ 113,980Municipal loans 71,822 31,940 44,753Real estate loans – residential 428,260 435,070 435,273Real estate loans – commercial 279,885 279,958 290,737Real estate loans – construction 17,600 30,864 25,146Installment loans 7,507 7,387 7,711All other loans 1,194 795 938 ————- ————- ————-Total loans $ 906,906 $ 895,819 $ 918,538 ————- ————- ————-Merchants’ investment portfolio totaled $503.33 million at September 30, 2010, an increase of $94.52 million from December 31, 2009 ending balance of $408.81 million. Merchants has taken advantage of favorable pricing during 2010 and captured gains on several of its mortgage-backed securities that appeared to have heightened prepayment risk. Merchants sold bonds during the third quarter of 2010 with a total par value of $13.90 million for a net pre-tax gain of $686 thousand. During the first nine months of 2010, Merchants has sold bonds with a total par value of $43.06 million for a pre-tax gain of $1.90 million. Additionally, Merchants sold two non-agency collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and two low yielding Agency CMOs during early October for a total loss of $89 thousand. These bonds were marked down to their fair value as of September 30, 2010 due to Merchants’ intent to sell them in a subsequent period. These selective bond sales will help to better position Merchants’ investment portfolio from a credit and interest rate risk standpoint.Total deposits ended the quarter at $1.07 billion, an increase of $29.33 million from year end balances of $1.04 billion. Average balances for the third quarter of this year were $1.06 billion, an increase of $21.64 million from fourth quarter 2009 average balances of $1.04 billion. Since the end of 2009 there has been continued migration from time deposit categories, which have decreased $24.46 million, into savings, NOW and money market accounts, which have increased $36.89 million. Time deposits as a percentage of total deposits have decreased from 37.8% at year end 2009 to 34.5% at September 30, 2010. Demand deposits have shown solid growth during 2010, increasing $16.89 million to $136.64 million at September 30, 2010, from $119.74 million at year end.Merchants’ taxable equivalent net interest income for the third quarter of 2010 was $12.82 million, and was $38.13 million for the first nine months of 2010, compared to $12.79 million for the third quarter of 2009 and $37.55 million for the first nine months of 2009. Merchants’ taxable equivalent net interest margin decreased eleven basis points during the third quarter to 3.70% from 3.81% for the second quarter of the current year, and decreased by seven basis points compared to the third quarter of 2009. The margin for the first nine months of 2010 decreased by six basis points to 3.75% from 3.81% for the same period in 2009.”Net interest income is under significant pressure in the current environment. The low yields available for reinvestment of cash flows from the investment portfolio dictate that we need to increase the size of our loan book if we are to increase our net interest income. We have added resources to the lending area and are actively working to position ourselves for growth during the fourth quarter and into 2011,” commented Mr. Tuttle.Total noninterest income increased to $3.03 million and $9.09 million for the third quarter and first nine months of 2010 from $2.60 million and $6.94 million for the same periods in 2009. Excluding net gains (losses) on security sales and other than temporary impairment losses, noninterest income increased to $2.43 million and $7.36 million for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010 compared to $2.34 million and $6.88 million for the same periods last year. Income from Merchants Trust Company division increased to $539 thousand and $1.59 million for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010, compared to $441 thousand and $1.26 million for the same periods last year, a result of a combination of increased sales and better market performance. Revenue related to service charges on deposits decreased to $1.22 million for the third quarter of 2010 compared to $1.49 million for the third quarter of last year, and to $3.85 million for the first nine months of 2010 compared to $4.22 million for the same period last year. These decreases are primarily a result of reduced overdraft service charge revenue. Net overdraft fee revenue for the third quarter of 2010 was $1.00 million and was $3.20 million year to date, compared to $1.25 million for the third quarter of 2009 and $3.51 million for the first nine months of 2009. Reductions in overdraft fee revenue are almost entirely a result of legislative changes that went into effect on August 15, 2010. At this point it is not possible to predict the ultimate impact of the legislative change on future overdraft income. At the same time Other noninterest income increased to $1.08 million from $952 thousand for the third quarter of 2010 compared to 2009, and increased to $3.18 million from $2.88 million for the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009. This increase is primarily a result of increased net debit card income. The recently enacted Dodd-Frank bill authorizes the Federal Reserve Board to regulate debit card interchange fees; although the changes are aimed at large banks it is possible that all banks will be impacted. It is not possible to predict what impact the changes will have on Merchants debit card revenue.Total noninterest expense increased to $10.00 million from $9.80 million for the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009; and decreased to $29.09 million from $29.68 million for the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009. There were a number of increases and decreases that contributed to this overall decrease. Salaries and wages increased to $4.10 million and $11.70 million for the third quarter and first nine months of 2010 compared to $3.68 million and $10.30 million for the same periods in 2009. Merchants has added staff in its corporate banking and trust areas during 2010. Additionally, Merchants’ strong results for the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009 have led to a higher incentive accrual for 2010. Merchants’ FDIC insurance expense for 2010 is lower than 2009 as a result of the $630 thousand special assessment recorded during the second quarter of 2009. Additionally, Merchants booked expense recoveries and gains during 2010 related to sales of OREO properties leading to a negative year to date expense of $299 thousand compared to an expense of $305 thousand for the first nine months of 2009. During 2009, Other noninterest expenses were negatively impacted by prepayment penalties on FHLB debt totaling $280 thousand for the third quarter of 2009 and $584 thousand for the first nine months of 2009.Michael R. Tuttle, Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer; and Janet P. Spitler, Merchants’ Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call to discuss these earnings results at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 27, 2010. Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing (800) 230-1085; the title of the call is Earnings Release for Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Participants are asked to call a few minutes prior to register. A replay will be available until noon on Wednesday, November 3, 2010. The U.S. replay dial-in telephone number is (800) 475-6701. The international replay telephone number is (320) 365-3844. The replay access code for both replay telephone numbers is 143118.Vermont Matters. Merchants Bank strives to fulfill its role as the state’s leading independent community bank through a wide range of initiatives. The bank supports organizations throughout Vermont in addressing essential needs, sustaining community programs, providing small business and job start capital, funding financial literacy education and delivering enrichment through local sports activities.Merchants Bank was established in 1849 in Burlington, Vermont. Its continuing mission is to provide Vermonters with a statewide community bank that combines a strong technology platform with a genuine appreciation for local markets. Merchants Bank delivers this commitment through a branch-based system that includes: 34 community bank offices and 42 ATMs throughout Vermont; local branch presidents and personal bankers dedicated to high-quality customer service; free online banking, phone banking, and electronic bill payment services; high-value depositing programs that feature Free Checking for Life®, Cash Rewards Checking, Rewards Checking for Business, business cash management, money market accounts, health savings accounts, certificates of deposit, Flexible CD, IRAs, and overdraft assurance; feature-rich loan programs including mortgages, home equity credit, vehicle loans, personal and small business loans and lines of credit; and merchant card processing. Merchants Bank offers a strong set of commercial and government banking solutions, delivered by experienced banking officers in markets throughout the state; these teams provide customized financing for medium-to-large companies, non-profits, cities, towns, and school districts. Merchants Trust Company, a division of Merchants Bank, provides investment management, financial planning and trustee services. Please visit www.mbvt.com(link is external) for access to Merchants Bank information, programs, and services. Merchants’ stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market system under the symbol MBVT. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Some of the statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements reflect Merchants’ current views about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause Merchants’ actual results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements should not be relied on since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Merchants’ control and which could materially affect actual results. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include changes in general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, changes in competitive product and pricing pressures among financial institutions within Merchants’ markets, and changes in the financial condition of Merchants’ borrowers. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Merchants’ judgment as of the date of this release, and Merchants cautions readers not to place undue reliance on such statements. For further information, please refer to Merchants’ reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $4.50 million and $12.92 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.73 and $2.10 for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010, respectively. This compares with net income of $3.71 million and $8.68 million or diluted earnings per share of $0.61 and $1.42 for the same periods in 2009. Merchants previously announced the declaration of a dividend of $0.28 per share, payable November 18, 2010, to shareholders of record as of November 4, 2010. The return on average assets was 1.25% and 1.21% for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010, respectively, compared to 1.07% and 0.85% for the same periods in 2009. The return on average equity was 18.39% and 18.14% for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2010, respectively, compared to 17.37% and 13.93% for the same periods in 2009.”We are continuing the trend from the first half of this year with our strong core earnings this quarter. Absent the net impact of securities transactions and OREO recoveries, net income is up 16% for the third quarter of 2010 compared to last year and 33% compared to the first nine months of 2009,” commented Michael R. Tuttle, Merchants’ President and Chief Executive Officer.Merchants’ earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of 2010 were positively impacted by security gains and improvements in asset quality. Merchants recognized $596 thousand and $1.73 million in pre-tax security gains, net of impairment losses, during the third quarter and first nine months of 2010, respectively. Merchants recorded a $400 thousand negative provision for credit losses during the third quarter of 2010, and has recorded a $200 thousand provision for credit losses for the first nine months of 2010 compared to $600 thousand for the third quarter of 2009 and $3.50 million for the first nine months of 2009. The negative provision was a result of net recoveries of previously charged off loans during the quarter of $415 thousand combined with a more than 25% reduction in internally classified loans since June 30, 2010. In addition, Merchants’ non-performing loans decreased to $3.44 million at September 30, 2010 from $8.33 million at June 30, 2010 and $14.48 million at December 31, 2009.”The positive trend in asset quality continued during the third quarter. Total nonperforming assets have been reduced by $11.68 million from December 31, 2009 and are now just 0.38% of total loans. Current trends are very encouraging and our outlook on credit quality remains positive based on recent developments,” stated Mr. Tuttle.Merchants’ quarterly average loans were $917.68 million, a decrease of $3.16 million over the fourth quarter of 2009, and ending balances were $906.91 million, $11.63 million lower than balances at December 31, 2009. Loan demand in Merchants’ markets remained soft during the first nine months of 2010; many businesses are continuing to pay down term debt and substantially reducing utilization of credit lines. This trend combined with the previously discussed reduction in substandard loans has dampened growth in the loan portfolio this year. The following table summarizes the components of Merchants’ loan portfolio as of the periods indicated: Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Financial Highlights (unaudited) (Dollars in thousands except share and per share data) 09/30/10 12/31/09 09/30/09 12/31/08 ———– ———– ———– ———–Balance Sheets – Period EndTotal assets $ 1,482,295 $ 1,435,248 $ 1,405,994 $ 1,341,210Loans 906,906 918,538 929,236 847,127Allowance for loan losses (“ALL”) 10,090 10,976 11,177 8,894Net loans 896,816 907,562 918,059 838,233Securities available for sale 502,467 407,652 353,842 429,872Securities held to maturity 865 1,159 1,306 1,737Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) stock 8,630 8,630 8,630 8,523Interest earning cash and other short-term investments 7,239 47,714 70,282 5,130Other assets 66,278 62,531 53,875 57,715Deposits 1,072,649 1,043,319 1,030,802 930,797Securities sold under agreement to repurchase and other short-term debt 175,133 179,718 122,421 124,408Securities sold under agreement to repurchase, long-term 54,000 54,000 54,000 54,000Other long-term debt 31,158 31,215 68,698 118,643Junior subordinated debentures issued to unconsolidated subsidiary trust 20,619 20,619 20,619 20,619Other liabilities 29,236 15,365 19,069 13,046Shareholders’ equity 99,500 91,012 90,385 79,697Balance Sheets – Quarter-to-Date AveragesTotal assets $ 1,437,090 $ 1,412,900 $ 1,394,457 $ 1,320,845Loans 917,682 920,846 922,704 825,395Allowance for loan losses 10,461 11,510 10,958 8,596Net loans 907,221 909,336 911,746 816,799Securities available for sale and FHLB stock 424,116 371,059 367,979 436,712Securities held to maturity 920 1,224 1,374 2,187Interest earning cash and other short-term investments 29,933 63,553 53,576 2,420Other assets 74,900 67,728 59,782 62,727Deposits 1,059,591 1,037,955 1,026,527 946,534Securities sold under agreement to repurchase and other short-term debt 160,738 148,282 115,447 96,736Securities sold under agreement to repurchase, long-term 54,000 54,000 54,000 54,000Other long-term debt 31,165 46,097 79,107 117,996Junior subordinated debentures issued to unconsolidated subsidiary trust 20,619 20,619 20,619 20,619Other liabilities 13,061 14,999 13,209 9,845Shareholders’ equity 97,916 90,948 85,548 75,115Interest earning assets 1,372,651 1,356,682 1,345,633 1,266,714Interest bearing liabilities 1,190,679 1,180,087 1,179,117 1,110,612Ratios and Supplemental Information – Period EndBook value per share $ 17.00 $ 15.65 $ 15.55 $ 13.89Book value per share (1) $ 16.11 $ 14.82 $ 14.74 $ 13.15Tier I leverage ratio 8.13% 7.67% 7.41% 7.42%Tangible capital ratio (2) 6.71% 6.34% 6.43% 5.94%Period end common shares outstanding (1) 6,174,524 6,141,823 6,131,175 6,061,182Credit Quality – Period EndNonperforming loans (“NPLs”) $ 3,437 $ 14,481 $ 10,584 $ 11,643Nonperforming assets (“NPAs”) $ 3,457 $ 15,136 $ 11,386 $ 12,445NPLs as a percent of total loans 0.38% 1.58% 1.14% 1.37%NPAs as a percent of total assets 0.23% 1.05% 0.81% 0.93%ALL as a percent of NPLs 294% 76% 106% 76%ALL as a percent of total loans 1.11% 1.19% 1.20% 1.05%(1) This book value and period end common shares outstanding includes 321,776; 326,453; 320,371 and 323,754 Rabbi Trust shares for the periods noted above, respectively.(2) The tangible capital ratio is a non-GAAP financial measure which we believe provides investors with information that is useful in understanding our financial performance. Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Financial Highlights (unaudited) (Dollars in thousands except share and per share data) For the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010 2009 ———– ———–Balance Sheets – Year-to-Date AveragesTotal assets $ 1,422,259 $ 1,364,154Loans 914,828 895,090Allowance for loan losses 10,586 10,066Net loans 904,242 885,024Securities available for sale and FHLB stock 420,339 392,069Securities held to maturity 1,009 1,516Interest earning cash and other short-term investments 24,099 27,421Other assets 72,570 58,124Deposits 1,044,308 992,261Securities sold under agreement to repurchase and other short-term debt 164,571 104,313Securities sold under agreement to repurchase, long-term 54,000 54,000Other long-term debt 31,190 96,340Junior subordinated debentures issued to unconsolidated subsidiary trust 20,619 20,619Other liabilities 12,654 13,502Shareholders’ equity 94,917 83,119Interest earning assets 1,360,275 1,316,096Interest bearing liabilities 1,189,199 1,156,444 Merchants Bancshares, Inc. Financial Highlights (unaudited) (Dollars in thousands except share and per share data) For the Three Months For the Nine Months Ended September 30, Ended September 30, ——————– ——————– 2010 2009 2010 2009 ——— ——— ——— ———Operating ResultsInterest incomeInterest and fees on loans $ 11,584 $ 12,079 $ 34,675 $ 35,791Interest and dividends on investments 3,585 4,500 11,183 14,536Total interest and dividend income 15,169 16,579 45,858 50,327Interest expenseDeposits 1,352 2,235 4,338 7,751Short-term borrowings 374 201 1,164 333Long-term debt 1,013 1,447 3,020 4,831Total interest expense 2,739 3,883 8,522 12,915Net interest income 12,430 12,696 37,336 37,412(Credit) provision for credit losses (400) 600 200 3,500Net interest income after provision for credit losses 12,830 12,096 37,136 33,912Noninterest incomeTrust Company income 539 441 1,590 1,255Service charges on deposits 1,219 1,490 3,853 4,217Gain (loss) on investment securities, net 685 261 1,897 56Other-than-temporary impairment losses on securities (89) — (169) –Equity in losses of real estate limited partnerships, net (408) (542) (1,263) (1,466)Other noninterest income 1,079 952 3,182 2,875Total noninterest income 3,025 2,602 9,090 6,937Noninterest expenseSalaries and wages 4,097 3,675 11,704 10,300Employee benefits 1,047 1,091 3,420 3,685Occupancy and equipment expenses 1,661 1,587 4,892 4,789Legal and professional fees 596 553 1,851 1,899Marketing expenses 332 363 1,013 1,142State franchise taxes 298 266 872 866FDIC Insurance 345 393 1,065 1,649Other real estate owned 91 87 (299) 305Other noninterest expense 1,536 1,788 4,572 5,045Total noninterest expense 10,003 9,803 29,090 29,680Income before provision for income taxes 5,852 4,895 17,136 11,169Provision for income taxes 1,350 1,181 4,219 2,486Net income $ 4,502 $ 3,714 $ 12,917 $ 8,683Ratios and Supplemental InformationWeighted average common shares outstanding 6,172,479 6,120,199 6,162,049 6,094,398Weighted average diluted shares outstanding 6,176,434 6,121,585 6,163,535 6,096,370Basic earnings per common share $ 0.73 $ 0.61 $ 2.10 $ 1.42Diluted earnings per common share $ 0.73 $ 0.61 $ 2.10 $ 1.42Return on average assets 1.25% 1.07% 1.21% 0.85%Return on average shareholders’ equity 18.39% 17.37% 18.14% 13.93%Net interest rate spread 3.58% 3.61% 3.63% 3.64%Net interest margin 3.70% 3.77% 3.75% 3.81%Net recoveries (charge-offs) to Average Loans 0.05% 0.01% (0.14%) (0.10%)Net recoveries (charge-offs) $ 415 $ 95 $ (1,282) $ (884)Efficiency ratio (1) 61.42% 58.51% 60.73% 59.70%(1) The efficiency ratio excludes amortization of intangibles, equity in losses of real estate limited partnerships, OREO expenses, gain/loss on sales of securities, state franchise taxes, and any significant nonrecurring items.Note: As of September 30, 2010, the Bank had off-balance sheet liabilities in the form of standby letters of credit to customers in the amount of $4.00 million. Source: Merchants Bancshares, Inc. SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT–(Marketwire – October 25, 2010) –last_img read more

April 15, 2004 On the Move

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first_img April 15, 2004 On the Move On the Move April 15, 2004 On the Movecenter_img Katz Kutter has merged with Akerman Senterfitt, and Allan J. Katz has been named managing shareholder of Akerman Senterfitt’s Tallahassee office, and new Washington, D.C., office. Katz will oversee the development of the firm’s governmental relations practice in those offices. Katz’s office is located at 106 E. College Ave., Ste. 1200, Tallahassee, 32301, phone: (850) 224-9634, fax: (850) 222-0103. Roseanne Perrine announces the opening of her law office. Her practice includes commercial litigation, construction law, creditor’s rights, and probate, and trust related litigation, with offices located at 100 Executive Way, Ste. 112, Ponte Vedra Beach, 32082, phone: (904) 280-5190. Holly A. Davis has become a stockholder of Henderson Franklin in Ft. Myers.Davis represents employers and insurance carriers in the area of workers’ compensation and is a board certified workers’ compensation lawyer. Ellen R. Gorman and John C. Miotke, shareholders in the law firm of Gorman Miotke & Associates, P.A., have relocated their offices to 9800 Fourth St. N. Suite 403, St. Petersburg, 33702, phone: (727) 897-9084. The firm concentrates in the areas of immigration and naturalization law.Stump, Webster, Craig, Staten & Recksiedler, P.A,. announces that Sage Morris-Webster has become a partner, and the firm name has changed to Stump, Webster, Craig, Staten, Recksiedler & Morris-Webster, P.A. Morris-Webster concentrates in trial practice, criminal and civil experience, workers’ compensation, general civil and automobile liability and personal injury protection. Offices are located at 118 E. Jefferson Street, Orlando, 32801, phone: (407)425-2583. Russell C. Weigel, III, formerly special counsel (trial unit) and branch chief (enforcement) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Southeast Regional Office, Miami , has become shareholder of Carlton Fields in Miami. Mercedes Pino, formerly an assistant state attorney in the 11th Circuit’s domestic violence unit , has become the assistant director of career services at Stetson University College of Law. Patricia Hogan and Mellonee A. Kennedy have become associated with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A., in Miami. Hogan practices in matters of premises liability, products liability and asbestos defense litigation. Kennedy practices in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance defense. Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., have added two attorneys to their real estate law group. Roland Acosta, formerly associate general counsel for Sun Trust Bank, joined the firm’s Orlando office, and Jordan Alaimo, a recent graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law, joined the firm’s Ft. Lauderdale office. The Law Office of Tiffany S. Craig, P.A., has moved from 1701 James Redman Parkway, Plant City, to 33563, (813) 719-6605, FAX: (813) 717-9808 to 4809 E. Busch Blvd. Ste. 206, Tampa, 33617, phone: (813) 899-4994, fax:(813) 899-4993. Barbara E. Kissner has joined Rosenthal & Weissman, P.A., in Port St. Lucie, with offices at 7410 S. U.S. Hwy One, Ste. 403, Port St. Lucie, 34952, phone: (772) 878-3880 fax: (772) 878-3850. Gunster Yoakley has named the following attorneys equity shareholders in the firm, Courtney Callahan Crush, Neisen O. Kasdin and Sarah Lea Tobocman. Crush, Ft. Lauderdale office, concentrates in matters of land use law and urban development, representing developers of major commercial, residential, mixed-use urban renewal, condominium and condominium/hotel projects and planned communities throughout Florida. Kasdin , Miami office, former mayor of Miami Beach , concentrates in matters of commercial real estate, including land use, development incentives, public/private projects, and local government law. Tobocman, Miami office, focuses on business immigration issues and immigration issues faced by foreign high net-worth individuals with interests in the United States. For more information, call (800) 749-1980. Erum Siddiqui, formerly of Wragge & Company, Birmingham, United Kingdom, has become associated with the litigation and dispute resolution practice group of Carlton fields in Miami. Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod in Miami have added three associates. R. Cantrell Jones, formerly a law clerk with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Adam F. Haimo, formerly of Hodgson Russ in Boca Raton, have both joined the firm’s litigation department, and Andrew S. Billing, formerly of Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman in New York, has joined the firm’s real estate department. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP in Miami has formed an estate planning and wealth preservation group. Barbara Simanek, a senior associate from K&L in Pittsburgh, will lead the group. She will focus on all aspects of estate planning and trust law. Rodney H. Dusinberre, Daniel D. Dykema, and Cheryl L. Riess have joined Michaud, Buschmann, Mittelmark, Millian, Blitz, & Warren & Coel, P.A., in Boca Raton. Dusinberre has become associated with the firm’s transactional and regulatory division. Dykema and Riess have both become of counsel to the firm, and have joined the litigation division. Offices are located at 621 N.W. 53rd St., Ste. 420, Boca Raton, 33487. Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in Orlando has hired four associates: Steve Klein, LaKesia Mosley, Jorie Tress, and R. Travis Rentz. Klein practices in matters of insurance coverage, lemon law, and employment litigation. Mosley concentrates in the areas of products liability, professional liability, and employment litigation. Tress focuses in products liability and insurance coverage. Rentz practices in products liability and toxic torts. Allan J. Sullivan, formerly of Sullivan & Rivero, P.A. , has joined Baker & McKenzie in Miami as a partner.in the firm’s litigation practice group. Sullivan has held positions within the United States Department of Justice, and United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. He focuses on dispute resolution and litigation, as well as white collar criminal and regulatory representations.last_img read more

Exclusive: Hempstead Town Officer Arrested for Theft

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Stephen Centore in his Town of Hempstead Department of Building shirt. (Courtesy of Facebook)A Town of Hempstead code enforcement officer with nearly three decades on the job has abruptly resigned after being accused of stealing a laptop computer from his boss’s office earlier this month.Stephen Centore was arrested and charged with felony grand larceny March 5, four days after he allegedly stole a Panasonic Tough Book computer worth more than $1,000 from the acting Chief of Public Safety’s office in town hall on Washington Street.“The town does not comment on issues where there’s an ongoing criminal case,” Michael Deery, the town’s chief spokesman, told the Press.Centore “did not have permission and/or authority to use, posses or remove this item from the office,” according to court documents.Town officials reported the alleged theft to Hempstead village police, who released the 56-year-old Franklin Square man on a desk appearance ticket, according to the police chief.Judge Eric Bjorneby released Centore without bail Tuesday. Centore is due back in court May 2.Centore started working for the town Oct. 7, 1985 and earned $109,000 last year. He resigned from the town building department on March 8.The case wasn’t the first time Centore found himself on the wrong side of the law. He was also suspended 60 days in 2007 and fined $500 in county court the following year after pleading guilty to illegal use of a single family home, according to a Newsday report at the time.It’s also not the only criminal case pending against a Hempstead town official. Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla refused calls from fellow Republicans to resign after he pleaded not guilty in September to official misconduct, attempted coercion and petit larceny.Prosecutors have alleged Bonilla asked the ex-boyfriend of a female subordinate to give him compromising photos of the woman in an attempt to get the 21-year-old victim to drop a sexual harassment complaint against Bonilla, who has said he’s been set up by political rivals.Centore could not be reached for comment. No attorney was listed for him in court records.last_img read more

First-time mortgage help

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first_imgFirst-time homebuyers comprise about a third of the market, indicative of a continued desire among Americans to own a home. However, rising home prices and higher rates have impacted the affordability for many, especially younger buyers, reflects CUES member Tim Mislansky, CCE, SVP of $4.2 billion Wright-Patt Credit Union, Beavercreek, Ohio, and president of the CU’s mortgage CUSO, myCUmortgage.“A full suite of mortgage products, including conventional products, such as a 30-year fixed rate loan with lower down payment requirements, FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) lending, as well as products designed for a credit union’s balance sheet, is a must to attract these buyers.”Mislansky notes that FHA lending offers lower down payment requirements than traditional 30-year financing, plus flexibility in underwriting standards. This can include potentially looser credit history requirements and the acceptance of higher debt ratios. 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, July 19

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first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGroup hopes to spark interest in baseballAs president of the Schenectady Ole Timers Baseball Club (SOTBC), I would like to bring to everyone’s attention a very positive activity happening this August designed to reignite interest in youth baseball in Schenectady. SOTBC was founded in 1992 and today has more than 160 members. While we are primarily a social club, we have undertaken a major project designed to encourage the city’s 7- to 12-year-olds to discover the joy of playing baseball. This August, and for each of the next four years, SOTBC is teaming with the city of Schenectady and several prominent local businesses to present a free baseball skills camp. This year’s event is scheduled for Aug. 12 and 13. Schenectady’s Alex Jurczynski, an assistant baseball coach at Princeton University, will serve as camp director. Mayor Gary McCarthy and City Councilman Vince Riggi have cleared the way to make sure the best baseball field in Schenectady, the Buck Ewing “A” Diamond in Central Park, is ready to host the event. An all-star lineup of local businesses has stepped to the plate with sponsor scholarships to ensure the camp is free to all.In addition, these scholarships will cover a portion of each participant’s registration fee for Schenectady Little League or Schenectady Babe Ruth League the following year. Among the major sponsors are SOTBC, Glenville Queen Diner, LTs Grill, OrthoNY, the Schenectady PBA, Paul Moore, CapCom Credit Union and Martin, Harding and Mazzotti.We welcome you to stop by Central Park to watch our future “major leaguers.”Don BlahaNiskayunaRather than shout, get a bicycle bellThis letter is concerning bike trail etiquette, specifically for cyclist passing fellow trail users.I believe it’s time to end the archaic practice of approaching stealthily behind a person or family, getting about 10 feet behind them and shouting, “On your left.”This results in people being shocked out of their meandering bliss, and becoming somewhat stunned, and in that moment forgetting their right from their left. My immediate response to them, as they pass by me, is telling them to “get a bell.”Perhaps bells should be mandatory. I find that at about 50 to 75 yards away, a person with average hearing will respond by moving slightly right and will acknowledge that they know you are coming.There are a lot of walkers, runners and families with small children and dogs who don’t hear a cyclist coming up behind them until they’re right on their heels. I think a pleasant ringing of a bell, rather than a startling shout, would be much more appreciated. So for all the bike trail cyclists out there, please consider getting a bell for your bicycles.Michael WernerRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time

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first_img“We always knew that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.Twitter’s fact-checking notification came hours after the social network declined to take action on tweets Trump sent about the 2001 death of a former congressional staff member, after her widower asked the company to remove them for furthering false claims.A Twitter spokesman told Reuters that the difference was that the later Trump tweets were related to election integrity. Twitter on Tuesday for the first time prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers.In a tweet responding to the company’s move, Trump accused the company of interfering in the 2020 presidential election. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he said.The blue exclamation mark notification prompted readers to “get the facts about mail-in ballots” and directed them to a page with news articles and information about the claims aggregated by Twitter staffers. Trump, who has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, had claimed in tweets earlier in the day that mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent” and result in a “rigged election.” He also singled out the governor of California over the issue, although the state is not the only one to use mail-in ballots.”Trump makes unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud,” said a headline at the top of the page, followed by a “what you need to know” section correcting three false or misleading claims made in the tweets.Twitter confirmed this was the first time it had applied a fact-checking label to a tweet by the president, in an extension of its new “misleading information” policy introduced this month to combat misinformation about the coronavirus.The company said at the time it would later extend the policy on disputed or misleading information about COVID-19 to other topics.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Brisbane’s hottest apartments are so popular one buyer paid $14m

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first_imgBrisbane’s hottest apartments last quarter were so popular one buyer forked out $14m to secure as many of them as he could.BRISBANE’S hottest apartments are so popular that, in one building, a buyer forked out $14 million to get as many of them as he could. The bathrooms feature luxury fittings. Source: SuppliedMr Tucker said despite negative sentiment surrounding the Brisbane market, they had experienced soaring demand.“As the Brisbane market matures, and Brisbane continues its transformation into a new world city, both owners-occupiers and investors are turning their attention towards the high quality, luxury product.” The apartments follow the look and feel of five-star hotels.The first stage of the apartments, Chester, was the top performer in Brisbane, seeing an outstanding 70 unconditional sales over the three months to the end of the year.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoBut the second stage, Ella, refused to be overshadowed. Brisbane’s top apartment performer in the December quarter was Kokoda Property’s Chester. Source: SuppliedThe latest Place Advisory Inner Brisbane Apartment report has broken down which developments were seeing the most sales last quarter, with Kokoda Property’s Chester & Ella development head and shoulders above the rest. The Chester & Ella project is in inner-city Newstead, Brisbane. Source: SuppliedThe second most popular apartments were at Gallery House, which saw 24 apartment sales and Skytower saw 20 transactions, the Place report said.All up just over $198.8m worth of unconditional sales were recorded over the quarter, the Place report said, with the inner city seeing 315 unconditional apartment transactions averaging a price of $631,270. The penthouse at Kokoda Property’s Chester. Source: Supplied“The second stage of Chester & Ella, launched in November, with a single purchaserbuying $14 million in one transaction prior to the launch. The launch saw a further $22million transacted in one weekend,” according to Kokoda Property sales director Sam Tucker.He said a lot of the interest stemmed from the fact that their focus was on creating a five-star feel in the developments. Luxury finishes were key to current owner-occupier demand according to Kokoda.“There is a second market emerging with continuing strong demand for a high-end product. Well-off young professionals and established downsizers in Brisbane are looking to lead a sophisticated lifestyle, close to the city and among exciting lifestyle amenity.”Brisbane’s inner-city saw 71 projects selling off the plan last quarter, three of which were released during the quarter – Ella Apartments, Ferry Rd. and Maasra Apartments.last_img read more

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