Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont will receive approximately $600,000 in damages and penalties to the Vermont Medicaid program as part of a national settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp regarding its illegal marketing of the drug Vioxx.Merck marketed Vioxx for uses not approved by the FDA, misrepresented the cardiovascular safety of the drug, and made other false and misleading statements. The settlement resolves complaints filed by the federal government and a number of States after Merck voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the market in September 2004, citing an increase in the incidence of adverse cardiovascular events in patients taking Vioxx.In May 2008, Vermont obtained a $1.7 million dollar settlement with Merck on its consumer protection claims related to the illegal marketing; the settlement announced today addresses separate damages to the Vermont Medicaid program. As part of the settlement, Merck will plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor for misbranding Vioxx, pay a $300 million criminal fine, pay $615 million in damages and penalties, and enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the federal government to closely monitor the company’s future marketing practices.Vermont AG. 11.23.2011
In New Mexico, Diversification Through Solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hannah Grover of the Farmington Daily Times:Solar energy is slowly gaining a foothold in San Juan County as local cities engage in renewable energy projects. From Bloomfield’s electric performance contract to Aztec’s solar field and Farmington’s community solar project, local governments are embracing renewable energy.The electric performance contract involved upgrading lighting on city of Bloomfield buildings such as the senior center and the municipal operations center. Solar panels also were installed on the Bloomfield parks department building, the municipal operations building, a fire station and the senior center.Teresa Brevik, the projects manager, said electricity is one of the larger recurring expenses for the city, and the lighting upgrades and solar panels are expected to save Bloomfield approximately $40,000 a year.Rodney Romero, the Farmington Electric Utility System director, said an increased portfolio of renewable energy is something customers have been demanding.In addition to local cities, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority also has been investing in solar. On Saturday, members of the Navajo Nation Council attended a groundbreaking for the Kayenta solar facility, located on about 300 acres of land west of Kayenta, Ariz.The solar facility is the first large-scale solar farm in the Navajo Nation, according to a press release from Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker. It is expected to provide the utility with about 27.5 megawatts of energy after construction is completed by the end of the year.Solar projects add to energy diversity
Nuclear-industry bill in Ohio aims to curb uptake of renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy News Network:A second version of legislation in Ohio designed to subsidize the operation of two nuclear power plants appears to have the same limitations on renewable energy development as the first version.Meanwhile, Democrats have announced an alternative plan, which would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 50% by 2050.Substitute House Bill 6, introduced to members of the Ohio House Energy Generation subcommittee minutes before a scheduled fourth hearing late Thursday, keeps language that would allow utilities and independent retail power suppliers to ignore previously enacted renewable energy benchmarks which top out at 12.5% by 2027.Without those benchmarks, wind and solar developers worry that the utility market for their power would weaken.For consumers and Ohio businesses, the future would definitely be more expensive under HB 6, though the amended version encourages state regulators to develop “reasonable arrangements” for industry.The bill as now written would eliminate the minor fees associated with acquiring renewable energy, 10 cents to 69 cents a month on residential bills, but would require customers to continue paying for energy efficiency programs mandated since 2009. Those programs would now disappear after 2020 but could be resurrected by utilities if approved by regulators.The revisions leave unscathed the bill’s most expensive feature — new customer fees amounting to more than $300 million annually to create a Clean Air Fund. About half of that money would go to the Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants operated by FirstEnergy Solutions on Lake Erie.More: As Ohio nuclear bill advances, Democrats seek to raise renewable standard
January 1, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Kelly Overstreet Johnson named president-elect Kelly Overstreet Johnson named president-elect Senior EditorTallahassee attorney and Board of Governors member Kelly Overstreet Johnson has become president-elect designate of The Florida Bar.Johnson was the only candidate to file for Bar president in the upcoming 2003 elections. Filing ended 5 p.m. December 16. She will be sworn in as president-elect at the June Annual Meeting, when President-elect Miles McGrane takes the oath as president, and will become president in June 2004.“Wonderful, it’s a relief,” Johnson said of her unopposed run for the Bar’s top position. “I prepared as if I was going to get opposition, and I was committed to going forward with a contested election if necessary.”With no election to run, Johnson said she will focus on the issues that prompted her candidacy.“I want to continue the efforts of Bar President Tod Aronovitz and earlier presidents to improve the image of lawyers and let the public know the many positive things lawyers do on a daily basis,” she said. “I want to work with President-elect Miles McGrane and the Supreme Court on Article V funding issues.”Noting recent legislative changes that gave the governor all the appointments to judicial nominating commissions (the Bar does recommend slates of candidates for four of the nine seats), Johnson said she hopes to review the new process and work toward getting the most qualified candidates out of the JNCs.“The JNC process is vitally important and must function correctly to ensure the public benefits from the process by having judges who are fair and well-qualified sitting on the bench,” she said.And Johnson will seek to take another look at Bar advertising rules. Many lawyers still dislike or oppose lawyer advertising, believing it’s the largest cause of public discontent with the profession. But the U.S. Supreme Court has said advertising cannot be banned, and she wants to make sure the Bar’s rules are as consistent and simple as possible — and enforced.“We just need to get a handle on the advertising rules,” Johnson said, noting the Board of Governors has spent hours debating appeals on advertising cases. “It seems we spend an inordinate amount of time interpreting the rules, and there are consistency problems.”She plans to talk with McGrane about appointing a special committee to study the issue beginning during his presidential year, adding. “I think it’s going to take more than a year to take a comprehensive look at the advertising rules, and I would like to conclude the review during my term as president.”Seeking the Bar presidency seemed like a logical step for Johnson, who has an extensive resume of local, state, and national bar participation.“I have been involved in Bar work for most of my career and I’ve always enjoyed it,” she said. “I have loved my work on the Board of Governors and the Bar Executive Committee. After serving with other presidents, I realized I also had a desire to serve and thought I could do a good job.”Johnson graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Business in 1979, and three years later got her law degree, with honors, from FSU.She became a civil litigator with the Attorney General’s Office, then went to work for Ervin, Varn, Jacobs, Odom & Kitchen. She opened her own law office and then joined Broad and Cassel’s Tallahassee office in 1990, where she now is a partner.Johnson, an AV-rated lawyer, practices complex commercial litigation, including class actions suits, and employment and labor law.Johnson has served in various bar offices, including president of the Tallahassee Bar Association (where she was the first woman elected president) and the Tallahassee Women Lawyers. She served four years on The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, and two years in the ABA House of Delegates and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.She served four years each on the Second Circuit and the First District Court of Appeal judicial nominating commissions.Johnson was elected to the Bar Board of Governors in 1997. She has chaired the Communications and Disciplinary Review committees, is chair-elect of the Legislation Committee, and has served four years on the Executive Committee.She has also served on the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics, the Certification Plan Appeals Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Program Evaluation Committee.
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Even the most reform-resistant EU member states will face pressure to comply to the European Commission’s Capital Markets Union plan, writes Jeremy WoolfeIf a leaked draft copy of the European Commission’s battle plan aimed at creating an effective Capital Markets Union (CMU) is anything to go by, even the most reform-resistant EU member states will face great pressure to comply.The confidential document, from financial stability commissioner Jonathan Hill’s department, reads like a strategy plan from a corporation rather than from an institution.The contrast with documents relative to, say, a typical, single piece of legislation from the Commission is striking. In fact, its eventual “Elements of a Capital Market Union Action Plan” may well have the flavour of a military operations order. It covers a host of eventualities. Its scope is broad.The official Action Plan is due to be discussed by Hill in Brussels on 1 October and presented to a European Parliament delegates meeting in plenary session on 7 October.The plan, from Hill’s DG for finance, follows February’s “green” policy paper “Building a Capital Markets Union”.On pensions, that text emphasised that growing occupational and private pension provision in Europe could result in an increased flow of funds.The flows could be into a more diverse range of investment needs through capital market instruments and, according to the policy paper, facilitate a move towards market-based financing.Particularly focusing on occupational pensions, the new draft action plan – which evidently takes in input from all relevant sectors – refers to the pan-European 29th Regime project, which would co-exist alongside nationally based systems. The plan writes that the merit of this project will be judged from a feasibility assessment to come from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The authority’s advice is due early next year.Also, the Commission is described as planning work to enable a launch of a “blue-print for the creation of a pan-European market for private pension (third-pillar) products”.One item of emphasis is on “building blocks” to upgrade securitisation rules to boost investments into the SME sector. This was stressed by commissioner Hill, speaking at a recent meeting in Brussels of the European Banking Federation.The draft strategy document states that the lack of ability by potential investors to “pre-screen” companies may be a deterrent to investment in SMEs. Dating from before the summer break, it notes that work is taking place.It refers to, for instance, “enhancing the advisory capacity across all member states to assist SMEs, which could benefit from alternative [that is, non-bank] sources of finance”.Among other references is one to problems with the existing Prospectus Directive. Clearly, the Commission wants to get its teeth into it. It indicates revisions as a “short-term” priority, later in the year.Currently, when larger companies raise funds via capital markets, it can cost them “excessive” fees to produce “voluminous prospectus disclosures”. The outlay can be up to 15% capital raised for issuances of less than €6m, and up to 5% for amounts of more than €50m.Other facets in the plan include attention to the Solvency II regime, the Capital Requirement Regulation, the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), national rules restricting cross-border capital and insolvency rules.Under Solvency II, the plan advocates revisions to the calibrations to accommodate “the new definition of infrastructure and provide a regulatory treatment to appropriately incentivise infrastructure investments”.As for legal barriers to cross-border investment, the plan points a finger at national rules. Here, the Commission proposes a direct approach with member states, to remove the barriers. It also notes that it is “seeking to give stronger effect to Treaty provisions on the free movement of capital”.On insolvency, it regrets that only a handful of EU member states has followed a 2014 recommendation for a new approach. Hence, the Commission has begun preparatory work to put in place “a minimum harmonisation”.The final action plan is likely to state that each major initiative should be accompanied by an implementation accessory. This would define the intermediate steps, inputs and resources needed to support delivery. Undoubtedly, the Commission is giving its “top priority” to having a fully functioning CMU in place by 2019.The hope has to be that member state governments will be persuaded to act appropriately. That would mean working together on reforms aimed at creating economic progress – that is, towards “the European dream”.
Williams Lodge at 16 Cedar St, YungaburraA SPRAWLING guesthouse which played host to American soldiers during World War II and was most recently run as a luxurious Tablelands getaway has been sold.Williams Lodge on Cedar St, Yungaburra, went under contract last week with the new owners preferring to remain anonymous. Williams Lodge at 16 Cedar St, YungaburraSales agent Deborah Godfrey said she understood the property would be used as a family home.“I don’t know their future plans though,” she said.“We had good interest and have been negotiating with several parties.“The new owners will still keep the residence’s title and maintain its long history.“They have bought the property as is. Williams Lodge at 16 Cedar St, YungaburraMore from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“I would thank (former owners) Lynette and Peter Williams for allowing me to market and sell such a magnificent residence.”The home, with five self-contained bedrooms and a commercial kitchen, was believed to have been built around 1911 and was listed for sale in July last year with a price tag of $1.4 million. Williams Lodge at 16 Cedar St, YungaburraWilliams Lodge underwent a $2 million renovation earlier this century after Mr Williams decided to breathe new life into the building.The residence was reopened by Queensland governor Major General Peter Arnison in 2002 and operated for about a decade before closing.
The US Coast Guard has issued an updated type approval for Alfa Laval’s PureBallast 3 ballast water treatment technology.As explained by the Swedish engineering group, the new certificate, awarded on April 4, makes it possible for vessels to deballast in the United States waters with a holding time of just 2.5 hours.This holding time, which is due solely to a technical testing procedure, is only applicable if the vessel crosses over into another Captain of the Port Zone within this very short time.“We are committed to keeping operations simple, even under the more complicated USCG legislation,” Anders Lindmark, Head of Alfa Laval PureBallast, said. “The new, and dramatically reduced, holding time for PureBallast 3 removes a key frustration when operating in United States waters.”Holding time is a designated interval between the completion of ballast water uptake and the start of ballast water discharge. The reason UV treatment systems have had holding times in United States waters is the difference in testing methods used by IMO and the USCG to verify biological disinfection performance.However, the recent signing into law of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) paves the way for the USCG to re-evaluate the IMO-endorsed method. If the USCG decides to accept the same testing principle used by IMO, suppliers of UV treatment systems will likely be able to reapply for USCG type approval based on the IMO testing methodology, Alfa Laval explained.“Alfa Laval is closely following the developments related to VIDA, but we have chosen not to wait for a change in the USCG legislation,” Lindmark said.“PureBallast 3 has the fewest limitations of any ballast water treatment technology, and the minimized holding time in United States waters makes those limitations even fewer.”
More than $188 million in flood risk management work for Northern California were outlined in two separate budget releases on February 10, adding to an already robust Sacramento District workload, reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sacramento District. President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal would fund two District projects in his plan for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program.Continued upgrades to Natomas Basin levees leads the way with $131.5 million. Construction to improve 42 miles of levee surrounding the Sacramento area suburb has ramped up in recent years with construction work underway in four different sections of the project.The other project in the budget sits across the Sacramento River from Natomas in West Sacramento, which is targeted for $2.028 million to continue ongoing design efforts for authorized levee improvements around the city.Three Sacramento District projects are expected to achieve significant milestones thanks to additional Corps of Engineers work plan funding allocations for fiscal year 2020, it was also announced on Monday.One of six new construction start projects funded across the Corps, the Lower San Joaquin River flood risk management project will receive $23.1 million to close out design and start construction on flood risk reduction efforts in north and central Stockton.Design work for improved fish passage at Englebright and Daguerre Point Dams will get underway after the Yuba River Ecosystem Restoration project received $4.478 million, and the Sacramento District will be able to complete its Lower Cache Creek feasibility study, which aims to explore flood risk management options in the City of Woodland and adjacent communities, as a result of the extra $635,000 it’ll receive this year.Overall, nine Sacramento District projects received more than $54.5 million in this year’s work plan. Other projects include Natomas Basin levee improvement work along the Natomas East Main Drain Canal ($15.7335 million), Rural Nevada and Utah water supply improvements ($5 million), design of temperature control shutters as part of the Folsom Dam Raise project ($3.514 million), West Sacramento design work ($1.072 million), and Tahoe Basin restoration efforts ($1.025 million).The projects announced February 10 will add to the district’s portfolio, which also includes a handful of fully-funded projects, said USACE.
The Bulldog golfers battled through high winds, thick rough, and periodic downpours to pull out a victory in a three-way meet against St. Louis and South Decatur on Monday evening at Hillcrest Country Club.Batesville posted a team score of 230 to beat St. Louis by five strokes with a 235, and a 24 stroke victory over South Decatur’s 254.Andy Gutzwiller persevered through the conditions and led the Bulldogs to victory with a 52. He was followed by Kelly Gole and Shane Meer shooting 59’s, Meredith McCreary posting a 60, and Sam Bowman with a 61.The Bulldog golf team venture to Brookville Thursday to play at Brook Hill Golf Course at 4:30.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Chase Mears.