Notre Dame students like to have fun. Tonight, they get the chance to prove it – for free. An evening of campus-wide frivolity and entertainment, Irishenanigans will take place beginning at 8 p.m. The Student Activities Office (SAO) organized the event, coordinating a variety of unusual entertainment opportunities to encourage students to explore campus and interact with peers. David Mattingly, program associate for SAO, said a wide range of events is to take place on campus, mostly between LaFortune Student Center and Stepan Center. All of the activities are free to students. “We have a comedy troupe coming from New York to perform at Washington Hall at 9 p.m., and Stepan Center will have an event [inspired by NBC’s] American Gladiators, complete with Nerf guns and inflatable obstacles,” Mattingly said. “Expect glow-in-the-dark laser tag at Stepan too, with a fire-juggling show at 10:30 p.m.” Free food is also part of the festivities. Mattingly said a cupcake truck parked near North Quad will hand out 1,200 gourmet cupcakes, with a smoothie distribution stationed nearby. A trivia game in The Huddle at midnight will offer “quarter dogs” as prizes, and elephant ears will be available near Stepan Center. Mattingly hopes the events will draw out both new and returning students to get better acquainted with campus and each other. “We want students to go to Washington Hall, and then to Stepan and then LaFortune,” Mattingly said. “We want them to understand that campus is fun, and that it’s exciting to be coming back here for the year.” In planning the event, Mattingly said SAO tried to orchestrate something that would appeal to everyone, so his office organized a vast array events and activities. Students looking for a workout can try their hands at Blitz Ball and Laser Tag in Stepan Center, or at the hourly games of Capture the Flag on the RecSports fields. Students seeking a more relaxing time can listen to live music played by the pop/rock band South Jordan, or catch a game of glow-in-the-dark corn hole. Mattingly said he hoped the variety of activities will draw a variety of students who might not typically interact. “The event is really just a social tool, a way to meet people,” Mattingly said. “You can do the cool exciting stuff or the more relaxing activities. There’s something for everyone.
A growing season scarred by deadly diseases, though, has choked the supply of Georgia tobacco. The tomato spotted wilt virus has killed about 35 percent of the tobacco crop. That will cause about a 20 percent reduction in the overall production for Georgia. And that’s a conservative estimate, Moore said.Farmers have battled this disease, which also affects tomatoes, peanuts and other vegetable crops, since 1986. But this year “was the worst in history,” he said.Georgia farmers are allowed, due to government regulation, to grow around 60 million pounds of tobacco. A 20-percent reduction of that is 12 million pounds. That calculates, conservatively, into $21.6 million in tobacco that won’t be sold this year.Disaster?The Georgia Department of Agriculture is pushing for disaster assistance for tobacco farmers devastated by disease and drought this year.”Growers have been hurting financially, spending extra money to produce this crop,” Moore said. “And then they’re going to come up short on tobacco to sell.”Will the shortage of quality Georgia tobacco have an effect on the demand this year?”The only place to find that out is where there is some competition,” he said, “and that’s at the auction sites.”Moore said it’s tough to say how much tobacco will be harvested this year. There could have been as many as 27,000 acres.”But we’ve had close to 1,000 acres already destroyed and insurance collected on it because of the tomato spotted wilt virus,” he said.Georgia averages about 2,000 pounds of tobacco per acre. But this year, Moore said, the average will be more like 1,800 pounds per acre.Many frustrated farmers feel an urgency to get through with this year’s crop, he said. Moore tells farmers, “Don’t get into a hurry. The best tobacco is yet to be harvested or cured.” Amid drought, deadly disease and a new way of selling one of Georgia’s top money-making crops, tobacco auctions opened across Georgia this week.Georgia’s tobacco auctions started in Statesboro, Ga., July 30. Opening prices for this region were $1.56 to $1.78 per pound.”Prices look good,” said J. Michael Moore, an agronomist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. An auction opened in Douglas July 31. Smaller auctions will be in Moultrie and Nashville.ContractedBut much of the Georgia tobacco crop will not go to auction this year. About 92 percent of the 2002 crop was contracted before April 15. Contract farmers bypass the process and sell directly to tobacco companies, Moore said. Because of this, the number of auction sites across Georgia has dwindled over the past few years. “There are not going to be new (auction) warehouses opening up,” he said.Anybody who wants to know when and where tobacco auctions will take place, plus other Georgia tobacco information, can go to www.georgiatobacco.com.Though auctions will continue to be a way to sell tobacco, they’re becoming less popular. “Growers for the second year in a row have chosen overwhelmingly to sign contracts as a means of marketing their crop,” Moore said.Farmers who contract see the advantage of delivering their tobacco and returning home with a check that same day, he said.There are 10 receiving stations in Georgia and Florida where farmers can deliver directly to the tobacco company.”There’s an efficiency to the operation in dealing directly with the individual that purchases the tobacco,” he said.But growers who choose to go to auction have an opportunity to compete for the highest bid among all the companies.Choked SupplyAnd this year, prices could be high for noncontracted quality Georgia tobacco. (Tobacco companies already competed heavily to gain contracts with Georgia and Florida growers. Tobacco in this region, because of its higher sugar content, is highly sought after. Only 80 percent of the tobacco from other tobacco-growing states were contracted, compared with the 92 percent in Georgia and Florida.)
January 22, 2009. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced today that the number of new businesses registered with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division during the year 2008 have decreased considerably. As of January 1, 2009, there were registered in Vermont 15,495 Vermont corporations, 8,704 foreign corporations (out-of-state companies doing business in Vermont), 38,290 trade names (sole proprietorships), and 17,345 limited liability companies. Of these, 8,631 were newly formed in 2008. This is significantly less than the 9,452 new businesses that registered in 2007.Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, “In 2007 Vermont had 500 fewer new businesses starting up. The slow down in new business starts was even worse in 2008, and reflects a change from the steady increases we saw over the past decade. The fact that fewer Vermonters are starting new businesses is not surprising given the impact of the economic downturn on the state and the contraction of the lending market.” According to Markowitz, corporate dissolutions are also up. The 941 dissolutions in 2008 represent a small increase from the 867 dissolutions in 2007. Markowitz said, “Although considerably fewer new businesses registered in 2008 than in previous years, it is interesting to observe that it still is considerably more than what we saw a decade ago.” In 1998 there were 6,730 new business registrations, which is nearly 2,000 less than in 2008. “In past years we have found that our business-starts statistic is a good barometer of confidence within the business community,” said Secretary Markowitz. “The fact that we continue to have fewer new businesses registering in the state is a sign that we must do more to encourage Vermonters to be entrepreneurial.” Markowitz said. The 8,631 new Vermont business starts in 2008 include businesses that have been formed as corporations, as limited liability corporations, and those using a trade name. In contrast to the decrease in numbers of new business starts, this year saw an increase in the number of new non-profit corporations filing with the Secretary of State’s office. The 456 new non-profit corporations represent a small increase from the 413 new non-profits formed in 2007. The Office of the Vermont Secretary of State licenses and registers foreign and domestic corporations, non-profits, LLCs, and trade names and is the repository for Uniform Commercial Code filings. Information about the services offered by the Corporations Division,including registration forms and searchable databases, is available at www.sec.state.vt.us/corps(link is external)Vermont Secretary of State’s Office – New Business Registrations* Does not include nonprofits.Year198119981999200020012002200320042005200620072008New Corporations*133621002253215419852180231022312022192818511551New Trade Names169439484024398938664328459142964212431740743679New LLC0682917122315041863226228013124326335273401Total303037307194736673558371916393289358950894528631
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