Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricane Irene a little stronger

Hurricane Irene has strengthened as it bears down on the Bahamas on a path toward the eastern United States. [source: Voice of America]

The White House on Wednesday urged people on the East Coast to be prepared for the possible impact of Hurricane Irene, which could pose threat to people living on its path. [source: Xinhua]

As forecast, Irene has strengthened on Wednesday, with top sustained winds now blowing at 120 miles per hour (mph). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says conditions are favorable for some further strengthening, and Irene could become a category four storm in the next day or so. [source: Baltimore Sun]

Irene is moving northwest at 12 mph, according to the NHC. Hurricane conditions with high winds, heavy rain and deadly surf are occurring over parts of the southeastern Bahamas. [source: Bloomberg]

NASA satellite images captured Irene this morning just as it developed a classic eye and attained major hurricane status. [source: Houston Chronicle]

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Acts of sabotage increase for Verizon during union strike

Verizon managers continue to step up to provide solid service on day five of a strike by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, answering customers’ calls, performing general customer service and responding to an increasing number of incidents of sabotage.

Verizon management employees have repaired dozens of acts of sabotage to its network facilities since Saturday.

“Our management team is doing an outstanding job of serving customers despite some strikers’ attempts to obstruct our efforts,” said Bob Mudge, Verizon president of consumer and mass markets.

Since Saturday, Verizon crews have encountered more than 90 acts of sabotage against network facilities. These acts temporarily affected service to thousands of customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including police stations and other emergency responders. In most of these cases, crews restored service within 24 hours.

“Verizon has put forth a fair and reasonable contract proposal and the company will negotiate in good faith,” the company said on Thursday. “The company’s contract proposal strives to ensure that union-represented employees continue to receive compensation and benefits that are competitive with those at comparable companies.”

Verizon continues working toward reaching a new contract.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

School supply donations can’t keep up with increasing demand

As the economy continues to falter and children prepare to go back to school, the need for basic student supplies will greatly outstrip donations, according to a charity organization based in Washington that helps support children and families in poverty.

This year, approximately 25,000 children will receive backpacks filled with school supplies from World Vision, a humanitarian organization in Federal Way, Wash. But donations are not keeping up with the increasing demand, World Vision says.

"We are very troubled not only by what we are hearing from our staff, but by the trends we are seeing nationwide," says Romanita Hairston, World Vision’s vice president for the charity’s U.S. programs. "The unemployment numbers are particularly concerning. If parents cannot find jobs, that means basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, binders and backpacks are a luxury item many families simply cannot afford."
  • At World Vision’s site in New York City, requests for backpacks are expected to top over 16,000 this year.
  • In Seattle/Tacoma, approximately 7,000 children are on waiting lists for backpacks from World Vision.
  • In Los Angeles, thousands of families in need are expected to wait in line for a backpack distribution on Aug. 20 in Compton.
  • In Loudoun County, Va., Loudoun Youth Inc. and Recreation Outreach to Community Kids are partnering with MTN Government Services to produce backpacks for 300 students this year. Last year, the company provided 250 backpacks for students in need. [source: Loudoun Times-Mirror]
"Our goal is to help prevent parents from having to choose between buying school supplies and buying groceries," says Grace Lubwama, Southern California executive director for World Vision. "For the past several years we have seen the number of families in need increase, and this year is no exception."
 
"With families financially stretched, the burden often falls on teachers to dig into their own pockets to provide basic classroom learning tools," explains Brian Boyd, Pacific Northwest field site director with World Vision. "Research shows that teachers already spend an average of $356 of their own money on school supplies.”
 
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bombardier adds office in Brazil, Learjets 60s in Mexico

Bombardier Aerospace announced Wednesday that it will be opening its first Regional Support Office (RSO) in Latin America for its business aircraft customers by year’s end.

This full-scale RSO will be located in São Paulo, Brazil, alongside Bombardier’s already-established parts depot and Authorized Service Facility (ASF), OceanAir Táxi Aéreo.

The new facility is part of Bombardier’s global plan to provide international customers with access to regional support services in their own time zones and languages.

“In order to compete globally, you must be prepared to commit and deliver locally,” said Andy Nureddin, vice president, Customer Services and Support, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “With this new RSO, we will be able to resolve customer issues more quickly, mitigate risks before they become issues and further improve support to our growing customer base in the region.”

The new RSO will bolster Bombardier's support in Latin America in light of existing and anticipated regional growth.

Bombardier’s business aircraft fleet in Latin America consists of more than 475 Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft, 180 of which are in South America, with a significant proportion based in Brazil.


Bombardier's RSO network for business and commercial aircraft includes locations in Mumbai, India; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany.

Boosting maintenance support for Learjets in Mexico

Aerovitro, one of Bombardier’s two ASFs based in Mexico, is expanding its Aircraft-On-Ground line maintenance capabilities to include Learjet 60 aircraft.

This new capability augments Aerovitro’s current certification as a full ASF for Challenger 300, Challenger 604/605 and Global Express aircraft.

Aerovitro has been a part of Bombardier’s Authorized Service Facility network since August 2010 and employs a staff of 16 technicians.

Bombardier’s second ASF in Mexico is Servicios Aereos Estrella based in Toluca.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Suspect in Dulles Town Center assault charged

A man suspected of assaulting a customer at the Sears Store at Dulles Town Center, Va., on Jan. 2 has been charged. Adam Clark Branson, 35, of Ashburn is charged with Assault & Battery and Disorderly Conduct.

With help from the public, Branson was identified after a video still of the incident was released through the Alert Loudoun System. The incident involved an altercation between two customers at the Sears store, during which the victim, a 39-year-old Herndon man, received serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Misdemeanor warrants were obtained by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Branson was released on summons.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rockville police investigate stabbings at Sportsplex

Rockville City Police are investigating an incident involving the stabbings of five individuals early Sunday morning at the Rockville Sportsplex.

Rockville City and Montgomery County police officers responded at 12:50 a.m Sunday to a call for a disturbance at the Rockville Sportsplex, located at 60 Southlawn Lane. While on route to the call, it was updated to alert officers that there were multiple stabbings.

A Montgomery County Police officer stopped a vehicle attempting to leave the complex parking lot in front of the main entrance. The five occupants of the vehicle, as well as four others who were nearby, were detained. Police determined five of the men had sustained stab wounds.

Police officers administered first aid to the victims until Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service personnel arrived. The five men were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The men in the vehicle were uncooperative with police and refused to give their names.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident. If anyone has any information about the incident, please call Rockville City Police investigators at 240-314-8938.